A French waiter at a Canadian restaurant accused his former employer of discrimination based on his culture after being fired for “aggressive, rude and disrespectful” demeanor.
Guillaume Rey filed a complaint with British Columbia's Human Rights Tribunal against Vancouver's Milestones Restaurant and its parent company, Cara Operations, claiming “discrimination against my culture,” CBC reported Saturday.
Rey worked as “shift lead” at the restaurant, where his duties included supervising other waiters, according to the outlet. He was fired in August 2016 after an incident that left one of the servers “borderline in tears,” the restaurant manager said.
Rey claimed in his discrimination complaint that French culture “tends to be more direct and expressive” and he was fired for the “direct, honest and professional personality” he acquired during his training in France’s hospitality industry.
However, the restaurant said Rey often violated its code of conduct policy and continued his concerning behavior toward his colleagues, even after verbal and written performance reviews pointed it out.
The restaurant did not object to Rey’s claim that he performed well at his job, despite the alleged unpleasant behavior.
The eatery and its parent company tried to dismiss the complaint, but the human rights tribunal denied the application, according to AFP. A hearing on the case was expected, although not yet scheduled.
Devyn Cousineau, a member of the tribunal, said the denial of the application to dismiss the case should not be viewed as an indication of the case’s outcome, according to AFP.
"Mr. Rey will have to explain what it is about his French heritage that would result in behavior that people misinterpret as a violation of workplace standards of acceptable conduct," she wrote in her decision.