A waiter who was fired for being “aggressive, rude and disrespectful” has hit back at his employers and is now suing them for discrimination. Being rude, he argues, is a fundamental part of his cultural identity since he’s French. Guillaume Rey worked at a Vancouver restaurant and was fired because of his lack of interpersonal skills. During his time there he received multiple verbal and written warnings about his behaviour towards customers but despite these he continued to act in a difficult and unpleasant manner. After the final warning Mr Rey was fired from his job.
"A French waiter fired for being 'aggressive, rude and disrespectful' says his behaviour wasn’t out of line – he’s just French." Gotta ❤️ discrimination law.https://t.co/hZb8G51upf— Jogchum Vrielink (@JogchumV) March 27, 2018
Both he and his employers agree that Mr Rey was capable of doing the job and was otherwise a professional and capable employee. But his employers insist that his impolite behaviour made him a poor fit for the restaurant. Now Mr Rey is arguing that his “direct, honest and professional personality” is a consequence of his French heritage, and that he learned to behave the way he did from the French hospitality industry where he was trained.
'I'm not rude, I'm just French,' says sacked waiter https://t.co/4bqx9wIYib— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 27, 2018
By firing him, Mr Rey alleges that his employer has discriminated against him on the basis of his cultural background which violates his human rights.
His employer initially tried to have the hearing dismissed, but the tribunal rejected this appeal and have agreed to have a hearing for the case some time in the future. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the court will agree with Mr Rey.
“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,” said tribunal member Devyn Cousineau.
French waiter fired for being rude says it’s ‘discrimination against my culture’ https://t.co/jDpIEMRzsw— SCMP News (@SCMP_News) March 27, 2018
We’re not sure Mr Rey is putting forward the best image for French people here. Most people when accused of being rude try and mitigate the accusation, not double down on it. Personally, it looks to me that Mr Rey has just broadcast to the whole world, via viral news story, that he’s actually a bit of a d*ckhead. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the tribunal agrees.