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Le Papillon on the Park - discrimination case

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Just wanted to bring this to chowhounders' attention in case you hadn't seen this.

"Human rights tribunal found that workers at Le Papillon on the Park had been forced to eat pork, mocked for speaking Bengali, and threatened with firing." Some pretty serious issues.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/201...

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  1. Pretty bad indeed.

    1. Well guess I'll be going to the Front St location from now on

      1. 'Scratches the location off her brunch list'

        That's disappointing to read... I actually liked the restaurant too. Excuse me ignorance but why would an owner hire and keep staff they dislike so much?

        9 Replies
        1. re: Nevy

          Right? And who had been working there (and not tasting pork) since the 90s, apparently!

          1. re: Nevy

            The article in the Star says the chef started as dishwasher and worked his way up, over 4 years. I don't understand why the owner would not include tasting in the chef's job description when promoted.
            The human rights tribunals can be heavy handed and arbitrary, so hopefully this is not a biased judgement in a 'he said', 'she said' argument. A $100,000 fine would ruin most owners.
            This will have repercussions in a few macho kitchens.

            1. re: jayt90

              i personally don't want the chef taking a bite out of my pork schnitzel

              1. re: frogsteak

                Ummmm, that's not how tasting works.

                1. re: justsayn

                  hahahaaa!

                  sorry, but frogsteak with the comment of the century.

                2. re: frogsteak

                  Aunty Julia often said, "Taste for seasoning with your impeccably clean spoon, used just once!"

                  1. re: frogsteak

                    Don't worry, they only do that if you ordered the "tasting menu"

                  2. re: jayt90

                    As it should, jayt90. Whether restaurateurs like it or not, employment standards are coming to their workplace. I've said before and I'll say again, they're better off getting ahead of the curve before they're legislated into endless (and costly) courses on how to behave.

                    In this case, and assuming there was some substance which has yet to be fully proved, they can make tasting part of the job description. Then it becomes binary. They cannot hire someone whom they know cannot fully execute the job and then turn it into a hostile work environment in order to force compliance. That signage this restaurant is hanging should serve to remind all that they may be next to wear the hat in the corner.

                    1. re: Googs

                      Hey, if an arbitrator felt it plausible, it's good enough for me. I won't be returning.

                3. I agree. It'll be interesting to see if the place can survive after this.

                  1. Don't assume this decision is a correct one. I know these owners personally and everything I know and see tells me this is a bogus judgement, complements of a malicious and overzealous tribunal looking for a head to hang on a pole.

                    1. The article doesn't have much beyond the statements of the affected parties. Not saying that it didn't happen the way they say it did, but is this all you need to get a favourable human rights judgement?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Pincus

                        Yes. There's no such thing as an acceptable level of abuse in the workplace. Restaurants have lived outside this boundary because the workers haven't been in a position to complain. It now being a sellers market, that's gonna change.

                        1. re: Pincus

                          My friend was involved in a case and it went on quite a while with statements, testimony etc. Like any court case I guess. My point being I don't believe it's an easy process that normal, non-crazy people are going to pursue for the length of time required to get a ruling unless they feel very strongly about their situation. It's not a matter of just submitting a statement and getting 100K.

                          1. re: julesrules

                            Thanks for the clarification. With that new knowledge, I agree this is a case of horrendous abuse.