Need advice!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by kitchenwitch88, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. kitchenwitch88

    kitchenwitch88

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    Sous Chef
    I recently lost one of my best employees due to threats by a young female kitchen staff member.

    Let me start by mentioning that I am a female as well with 20+ years experience.

    This girl asked to move to BOH from FOH, and we started her with our prep team on weekends. She seemed to fit in well, and was soon joining in with the normal kitchen antics, bad jokes and general infantile behavior... most of you know what I mean... it is a tight knit group, a family, an incredible team!

    A few days ago, this girl was funning about, threw a fry at my guys head, and in response he said something silly, waved his hand in her general direction and accidentally smacked her below the belt... as soon as this happened he apologized profusely that he hadn't meant to touch her and was just funning... ( can't count how many times I've been smacked in my " lady parts" it's part of close quarter kitchens...) she went back to work...

    Apparently after a bit, she bursts into tears, goes to all the FOH managers and proceeds to say if he isn't fired she will go to the police.. she feels victimized yards yadda.. all her Facebook posts after the matter show no signs of trauma whatsoever... our HR in their infinite wisdom fire him... the next day she is back dancing about, singing and happy as a lark... she never dances and sings, hardly ever smiles...

    She violated a serious trust, broke up my team, unemployed a father who has worked his ass off for me for 3 years.. I want her gone, but with our HR being so PC, I'm in a corner.

    So I have started to write a rebuttal to his termination including the dynamics of a kitchen environment so that those on the outside.. our offices primarily, can begin to understand that this was not an attack on her, but a gesture of trust and respect.. i.e. You are one of us.. a trust she violated bitterly...

    Any thought, ideas, similar situations would be greatly appreciated... I have my teams back, and I'm not going to let this travesty go...

    Thanks
    Jen
     
  2. rbrad

    rbrad

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    If your company is so PC then there must be something in the HR manual about absolutely no form of abuse being tolerated which would include something being thrown at another employees head.Let them know that your guy is going to the labour department for unjust dismissal for reacting to an assault.......if the fry was just out of the fryer then the oil could have burnt his retina and he was just reacting.If nothing else he could get some severence pay.He should also demand a reference letter and have it put on his record that he left on his own terms.I know it happens but I've never seen anyone from the front succesfuly transfer to the back.
     
  3. kitchenwitch88

    kitchenwitch88

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    Thanks for your reply!
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Her throwing something at his head could fall into the category of "creating a hostile work environment". That is a buzz-phrase that catches the ear of PC obsessive members of HR. Probably ain't going to him any good as his reactions would still be deemed inappropriate; but it should get her the shove out the door.
     
  5. someday

    someday

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    While I understand that you feel she violated a "trust" that you hold sacred I doubt your HR department will see it that way. HR is there for 1 reason only--to protect the company from liability and prevent lawsuits. A lot of people mistake HR for being on the side of the worker...this is 100% false. They exist to protect the company. 

    If you run a lax kitchen with bad jokes, antics and infantile behavior, it is only a matter of time before something like this happens. This isn't the 70's or 80's anymore. These "antics" are becoming less and less appropriate as our industry continues to grown and mature and as it becomes more integrated and more PC. 

    The reason your employee got fired was because the girl probably threatened to sue or gave the impression she could sue down the line, so your HR department had little recourse. It would have been her word against his word--he "accidentally" touched her privates, or he intentionally touched them. 

    There is a fine line between fun and too much fun, seems like your kitchen might be running towards the latter. If your place is lacking in professionalism and walking that line between appropriate and inappropriate I suggest you tighten up your kitchen dynamics. In honesty, your are partly to blame for this for allowing shenanigans to happen in the first place. 

    Accidents happen, of course, but if you run a tight ship where everyone is respectful and professional, these types of things are rare and in the event they happen, they tend to have more positive outcomes (i.e. no one gets fired) because the likelihood of it being an accident are more obvious. 

    Trying to rationalize out or plan some sort of "revenge" against the girl will probably not help. This late in the game, as in, days after the incidents took place, are only going to make you look petty and like you are out for revenge. Not good colors on a manager. 

    Anyways, good luck! I hope it works out. 
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Question:

    Did H.R. talk with you in detail about this event before the firing?  You were a witness, as were others.

    I dunno, but if I were HR, I'd can both of them, girly-girl for flinging f. fries about the place, as well as the other guy......
     
  7. rbrad

    rbrad

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    Yeah that's the term right now "creating a hostile work environment".Someday is right,the whole atmosphere will need to change because of this and you can't be seen as just cracking down on her.On a lighter note you should have said he was working on a new signature move for the girl's wrestling team he coaches "The Trump".