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Quebec Server Gets Job Back After Being Fired For ‘Not Smiling Enough’

A judge didn’t accept the restaurant’s reasons for firing


Quebec’s labour tribunal is forcing a Victoriaville restaurant to get a server her job back after the owner told the tribunal she was fired for not smiling enough.

The Canadian Press (via CTV) reports that the server worked at Coco Frutti, an outlet of a breakfast chain across Quebec and Eastern Ontario for six months before being fired in April 2016. The owner told the tribunal that server Caroline Daunais was fired for not smiling enough and having a bad attitude, remarking that “everyone had problems with her”.

But adding extra layers to the story, her formal firing notice from the owner gave a different reason, staying that she had gone into another server’s section to attend to tables that were not hers — something that would generally be considered a minor infraction in a restaurant setting.

On top of that, Daunais had reportedly asked for back pay just the day before her termination (according to the owner, she was the only employee to ask for such back pay). Judge Christian Drolet determined that the restaurant had used these other reasons as an excuse to fire Daunais after she demanded back pay — the restaurant was ordered to give her back pay of just over $28,000, plus $2,000 in interest.

The restaurant is also obliged to give Daunais her job back, but of course, whether she would want to take it back is a whole other question.