US & Canada

Fired Vancouver waiter: I'm not rude, just French

File pic of waiter in Paris Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A waiter serving drinks

A waiter in Canada fired for "aggressive" and "rude" behaviour towards other staff says he has an excuse: he's French.

Guillaume Rey has filed a complaint with British Columbia's Human Rights Tribunal against his ex-employer and its parent company over his dismissal.

He argues his sacking is discrimination and French culture "tends to be more direct and expressive".

But the restaurant says Mr Rey's behaviour violated workplace policy.

His employers, Milestones restaurant and its owner, conglomerate Cara Operations, say he was dismissed for the "aggressive tone and nature" he took with colleagues when he worked at the Vancouver restaurant between October 2016 and August 2017.

The waiter maintains he was fired for his high standards and the "direct, honest and professional personality" he honed in the French hospitality industry.

Mr Rey disputes their version of events.

Both the plaintiff and his former employers agree that Mr Rey was "very friendly and professional with his tables" and was often assigned as "shift lead".

But they had previously warned him his behaviour with colleagues could "be combative and aggressive".

His former employer tried to have Mr Rey's human rights complaint dismissed.

But in a decision earlier this month, the tribunal rejected their application, paving the way for a hearing at a later date. The restaurant says Mr Rey was fired when another server was left "borderline in tears" over a workplace disagreement.

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