Thursday 18 April 2019

Waiter fired for being aggressive insists he's not rude — he's just French

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Stock photo

A male waiter who was fired for being aggressive with his colleagues has insisted he's not rude — he's just French.

Guillaume Rey worked as a waiter Milestones restaurant in Vancouver from October 2015 to August 2016. His duties often included supervising his colleagues at the Vancouver restaurant.

A tribunal has heard how on several occasions he was disciplined and warned about how he treated his colleagues.

The restaurant described him as "combative and aggressive," the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal heard.

Rey denies that was the case.

He filed a complaint at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against Milestones Restaurant and its parent company, Cara Operations, after he lost his job.

He alleged that a general manager told him that he may come across as aggressive because of his culture.

Cara and Milestone's applied to dismiss the complaint, but tribunal member Devyn Cousineau denied their application earlier this month, and the complaint was heard.

In her decision, Cousineau said the restaurant claimed he was fired for his "aggressive tone and nature" with colleagues, which violates its code of conduct.

But Rey says his co-workers misinterpreted his "direct, honest and professional" French personality.

The incident that ultimately led to Rey losing his job took place in August 2016, CBC News has reported.

Rey said he courteously asked one of the servers to complete his duties. But the restaurant manager said the server came into her office "borderline in tears".

Rey was fired for violating the company's Respect in the Workplace policy.

According to the decision, Rey claims "he was being terminated because of his French culture," which "tends to be more direct and expressive."

Cousineau didn't agree or disagree with either party, but said there wasn't enough evidence to dismiss the complaint, CBC News reported.

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