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

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

Mt Cartier Court gifted a wheelchair accessible bus

Mount Cartier Court has been gifted a brand new, top of the… Continue reading

The cost of Christmas light displays

BC Hydro talks incandescent versus LEDs

Snow warning: Bad for the highways, great for the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

Okanagan professor pitches passenger rail

UBC Okanagan engineering prof envisions tram train from Okanagan to Kamloops

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Women charged with stealing money from Okanagan hospice return to court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Most Read