French waiter Guillaume Rey was fired from a popular Vancouver restaurant.
The employer, Milestones, alleges that Rey was rude and disrespectful. Not at all, Rey has countered, he’s just French. The story has been picked up by the Guardian, BBC, the Washington Post, and Vanity Fair among other worldwide outlets.
Global News’ Robin Gill reached out to Dave Turner, employment lawyer and EKB partner, for his thoughts on Rey’s case. “He was saying, ‘I’m French and this is how I speak and you just didn’t understand that I wasn’t being aggressive, I wasn’t yelling, that’s just how French people speak,’” Dave told Global National.
The case raises an interesting issue, and there is some legal precedent from Ontario that arguably supports Mr. Rey’s position. However, before he can even get to the law, Mr. Rey has to overcome a critical factual dispute over what happened at the key confrontation, which Dave noted to Global was “going to be a real he said, she said.”
Dave Turner is head of the employment group at EKB and regularly addresses human rights disputes.