Human rights hearing proceeds: Waiter argues his French culture behind firing

Guillaume Rey began working for Cara Operations at one of its Milestones restaurants in Vancouver

A waiter in B.C. who is disputing his firing argues his French culture led to his dismissal.

Guillaume Rey appealed to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, which has rejected the restaurant’s request that the matter be thrown out, instead sending the case to a full hearing.

The tribunal says Rey should have the chance to explain why his French culture could be misinterpreted as violating the restaurant’s workplace respect policy.

Rey began working for Cara Operations at one of its Milestones restaurants in Vancouver in 2015, and performance appraisals show he “received great feedback from guests,” but was also warned about a tendency to be “combative and aggressive.”

The tribunal ruling says management approached Rey several times about his attitude toward co-workers, but Rey alleges senior staff told him more than once that his culture might cause other staff to view him as aggressive — comments that were denied by the general manager of Milestones.

Rey was fired in August 2017 after he admonished a more junior waiter in a manner the restaurant manager describes as “aggressive,” but which Rey says was “very professional.”

In a ruling dated March 7, tribunal member Devyn Cousineau says both sides agree Rey’s behaviour at work led to his termination, but almost everything else is in dispute.

The restaurant says Rey’s ”aggressive tone and nature with others” violated

Milestones’ respect-in-the-workplace policy.

Rey says he was fired for his “direct, honest and professional personality,” and “high standards learned in the French hospitality industry.”

Details provided by both sides are too sparse to determine what behaviour Rey engaged in or “whether the restaurant’s management and staff unfairly judged (his) behaviour through the lens of a stereotype,” Cousineau writes.

He mentions comments allegedly made by the general manager that could prove Rey’s culture was held against him, but also says Milestones is entitled to enforce a workplace respect policy and terminate anyone who falls below set standards.

“Mr. Rey will have to explain what it is about his French heritage that would result in behaviour that people misinterpret as a violation of workplace standards of acceptable conduct,” Cousineau says.

He has ordered a full hearing, but adds: “This decision is no prediction of its likelihood of success.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Work continues on Courtenay’s 4th Street Improvement Project

4th street will be closed to traffic between Duncan and Cliffe Avenue

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

Pride Society of the Comox Valley set to kick off week-long celebration

The organization is celebrating Pride Week with a variety of events to bring the community together.

Cannabis facility planned in Courtenay

Design up to 100,000 square feet

Major private donation to Kus-kus-sum project

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, have donated… Continue reading

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Most Read