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

Nanaimo RCMP say busts and arrests will have an impact on organized crime

Over $350,000 worth of drugs seized by police after busts in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Richmond

Nanaimo byelection candidates outline their priorities

Candidates provide their reasons for running and their priorities, in their own words

Investigation ongoing after hit-and-run in downtown Nanaimo leaves woman injured

Police say a Toyota Camry found abandoned on Cliff Street in Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Respect ferry etiquette

Letter writer suggests that we consider the ferry terminal and the ferry itself as a ‘village’

Western Edge Theatre presents ‘Between the Sheets’ at Harbour City Theatre

Canadian play centres on an intense parent-teacher interview

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens participated in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate Monday

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Most Read