DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - Four temporary foreign workers from Mexico who worked at two Tim Hortons locations in Dawson Creek, B.C., have launched a human rights complaint against the boss they call a racist.

They say Tony Van Den Bosch charged them double rent, called them Mexican idiots, said he owned their lives and regularly asked for their passports.

Lawyer Eugene Kung of the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which launched the complaint at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, says Van Den Bosch threatened to send the workers back to Mexico when they complained about their working and living conditions at his home.

He says the workers lived two to a room in a five-bedroom house and were asked to pay $200 each at the beginning of the month and an additional $200 rent mid-month.

Kung says additional complaints have been filed with the Labour Ministry regarding Van Den Bosch's breaches of the Employment Standards Act.

A spokeswoman for Tim Hortons Corp., was not available for comment, and Kung says Van Den Bosch no longer owns the franchises in the northern B.C. city.