Discrimination complaint filed after alleged ‘old China man’ insults at Richmond golf club

A man alleges he was discriminated against almost daily during the two-year period he worked at Quilchena Golf and Country Club, according to a submission to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Manuel Conceicao claims he was called an “old man” and “old China man” throughout his employment as a cook at the club – at 3551 Granville Ave. bordering the West Dyke – from October 2015 until he was fired August 2017.

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Conceicao, who was 63 at the time of dismissal, filed a discrimination complaint with the tribunal against the club, its head chef Darren Szeto and general manager Holden Yap, alleging they discriminated against him based on his age, contrary to the Human Rights Code.

Quilchena Golf and Country Club denies the allegations and applied to have the complaint dismissed without a hearing.

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Norman Trerise has denied this application, however he noted he also has “concerns about whether it is appropriate for this matter to proceed to a hearing,” and ruled that both parties are required to make further submissions.

In his written decision on the matter, Trerise outlines some of the comments Conceicao alleges Szeto and Yap made to him.

“Mr. Conceicao alleges that almost every day throughout his employment, he was referred to by Mr. Yap and Mr. Szeto as ‘old man,’” reads Trerise’s decision.

“(Conceicao) says specifically that the following comments were made: ‘old China man when you quit and retire,’ ‘old China man, what are you doing here why have sunglasses on,’ and ‘F—k you old mand (sic) that is not your f—king business go home.’”

Conceicao also claimed he was dismissed after speaking to a friend – who was a member of the club – while working, according to the written decision, and claimed that that friend had asked to speak with him.

“Mr. Conceicao says that…he was reprimanded by Mr. Yap for speaking with members of the club, and that because of his inappropriate actions, he was suspended effective immediately,” reads the decision.

Conceicao alleges his age was a factor in his superiors’ treatment of him – the focus of his discrimination complaint. The complaint did not include issues of race, such as being called a “China man,” according to the decision.

The golf club said Conceicao wasn’t fired because of his age, but rather his “egregious workplace conduct” the day before he was dismissed, which allegedly included shouting, ignoring instructions by Szeto, the head chef, and “disparaging the club.”

The club also denies the allegations.

“They say the allegation of using such ageist or racist comments is fabricated and entirely untrue,” reads the decision.

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