Employee rights receiving "comment card" Poor Management HELP

Joined Jul 11, 2015
Hey guys just wanted to know my rights as far as employee/ cook receiving a "comment card" from Kitchen manager. I received a very weak comment card , dishwasher complained I didnt clean up and put boxes away . I had a full buffer working a fast line and i told (spanish speaker ) dishwasher I will take care of them. She intentionally followed me and i saw her peek around the corner.

any reasonable person with common sense could see i was very busy and we are not supposed to leave the line to dump boxes all the way to the back.

anyways this girl complained to kitchen manager who called me into his office with 30 minutes! I got a comment card for attitude and cleanliness..wtf?

Now I hate this place.

 They took a third party complaint without even warning or talking to me , without observing the situation. 

Can you refer me to a state labor law cite as far as how long I have to respond and how I can respond without showing hate . I want it professional but fair.

I was a supervisor in the PD so I somewhat know the process just not sure if its different or the restaurant biz.

Now this tyrant manager is constantly on my ass . He is starting to act like this with everyone. Last night he confronted me and a coworker over a issue and was yelling.."all right I need to write a comment card who gets it?????!!!

I want my response documented well,  Thanks
Joined Aug 15, 2003
So, let me get this straight...

You didn't complete a task you told someone you would do, then got in trouble for it when she told on you???

How about next time ask her to take the boxes out, or even just finish the job you said you would do? You post is a bit confusing I'm not even sure I 100% understand what happened...

You want to get the state labor board involved in....what exactly? What "rights" of yours do you think were violated? Unless you were harassed, assaulted, or otherwise treated in a violation of law, I doubt they can do anything for you. What exactly do you want to complain about? 

If you feel unfairly treated I suggest you speak with your manager...you weren't given a chance to explain yourself in the 30 minute session you had with the KM? 

Listen, there is no state law that will protect you. You are not owed anything. You have a job to do, so go do it. It sounds like from what you said you did not complete your job. Was writing you up (is that what happened? I'm unfamiliar with a "comment card" used in this context) over the line for what happened? Maybe...but it happened. Was the dishwasher being petty for following you and tattling on you? Probably...but it happened. 

Kitchen work is hard. Kitchen work is unfair. Often your best praise is the absence of criticism. You don't get a cookie or a pat on the back for doing something right (i.e. your job) every time. Frankly, and I don't say this to be mean, but if getting a "comment card" and told to shape up by your boss sends you running to the internet to find out "what your rights are" maybe kitchen work isn't for you...?? 

What do you want to do with your career in the culinary world? Where do you see this going? 5 years...10 years?
Joined Jun 27, 2012
So the dishwasher fired a warning shot across your bow?

Sounds like an aggression worthy of retaliation.

Be creative.

Most likely she was hired to train up for your place on the line and is getting dishpan hands waiting for something that will never happen.

Maybe she is sleeping with the KM and they have a plan to take you down?

Or your line mate is on her list of conquests?

Could be any of a thousand reasons but whenever I was getting weedy and had a stack of something needing to be moved (safety first!) I would ask the person least responsible for selling a plate (or drink since I worked a line like twice in my life) to do me a solid and thank them properly later.

Usually an after shift drink or two.

I forget...did you take the hotel job?

Whatever happens I refer back to @Someday's advice.

Make darn sure before you put your biz on the street that it is worth it in the long run.

I have said this a thousand times... hospitality is a very small world.

Some of the most ignorant stuff will stick to your shoe and the stink will follow you forever.

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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Just because a person is a manager doesn't mean he/she knows how to manage. Many unseasoned managers look at their positions as power. They use this power because they can. Who's going to call then out. It's your word against there's. When it gets to the point it's at now, it's time to leave. Don't even put then down as a past employer when going for interviews for new positions in another restaurant. This job isn't a career position.......Move on down the road, no one said life was fair.......ChefBillyB
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Being right, ain't all it is cracked up to being. If I ever get to the point where I am considering calling the labor board or referencing labor laws, I think my time is better served by dusting off my resume and interviewing skills; and hitting the job market on my time off.

Life is too short to subject ourselves to negativity.

Sometimes pursuing my "rights" are the "wrong" action, and just not worth it.
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Joined Nov 11, 2012
I spent ten years practicing law.  If you are in the US then there is absolutely no legal remedy for what you described.  Essentially you disagree with why you were reprimanded by your employer.  Did they dock your pay?  Knock off your hours?  Suspend you?  Unless you have some employment contract detailing how and why you can be reprimanded then there is no legal remedy to be had.  Even then it would be a matter of filing a lawsuit for breach of contract, and I doubt you can show any actual damages.

If you have evidence that the manager is creating a hostile work environment for you, and that this is motivated by your race, sex, religion, ethnicity, workers comp status, or some other protected class, then you could possibly have a claim with the state dept of labor/commerce and/or a legal claim in court.  But merely being an asshole manager isn't sufficient;  you have to show you are being discriminated against due to one of those protected statuses.  Otherwise your remedy is to quit;  nobody can force you to work there.

And no, there is absolutely nothing similar in the restaurant industry as to what is in place for government employees.

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