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French waiter fired for rudeness says it is 'discrimination against my culture'

Guillaume Rey, who worked at a Vancouver restaurant, filed a complaint with British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal.

File photo
File photo
Image: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

A FRENCH WAITER fired for being “aggressive, rude and disrespectful” says his behaviour wasn’t out of line – it was because he’s simply, well, French.

Guillaume Rey, who worked at a Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, filed a complaint with British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal against his former employer, claiming “discrimination against my culture”.

The restaurant, operated by Cara Operations, accused Rey of violating its code of conduct and said he persisted in his behaviour despite verbal and written performance reviews.

In alleging discrimination, Rey said French culture just “tends to be more direct and expressive”.

He owes his sacking to his “direct, honest and professional personality”, which he acquired while training in France’s hospitality industry.

Both parties agree Rey performed well at his job despite his allegedly disagreeable demeanour.

The restaurant and its parent company had attempted to dismiss the complaint but tribunal member Devyn Cousineau denied that application, clearing the path for a yet unscheduled hearing.

She said the application’s denial should not be seen as an indication of the case’s outcome.

“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,” she wrote in her decision.

© – AFP 2018 

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