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Restaurants & Food Services

Class action claim filed by Denny's employees working in Canada under Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

A Notice of Claim under British Columbia's Class Proceeding Act has been filed against Denny's restaurants by employees working in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. The employees are originally from the Philippines,

The claim, which covers more than 50 employees, states that Denny's breached the workers' employment contracts by reducing their hours, refusing to pay overtime and failing to pay for their round-trip airfare back to the Philippines.

The Province has a story here: "Filipino workers' class action says Denny's owes $10m" (January 12, 2011).

The Georgia Strait's story is here: "Foreign workers file class-action lawsuit against Denny's restaurants in B.C." (January 11, 2011).  read more »

Employer to pay $20,000 in punitive damages for not fully investigating allegations before dismissing for just cause

The employer in Nishina v. Azuma Foods (Canada ) Co. Ltd., 2010 BCSC 502, was ordered to pay $20,000 in punitive damages for dismissing an employee for just cause without properly investigating the allegations of misconduct.  

The case is also of interest in that the court addressed:

  • the contractual force of workplace policy handbooks; and
  • the degree to which different cultural norms - in this case, the importance of an apology in Japanese culture - will impact on the just cause analysis.


The employer was a Japanese company with operations in California and BC. It produced Japanese ready-to-eat frozen food products.

The employee was a Japanese citizen.  At the time of her dismissal, she was 43 years old, had 6 years, four months service and was employed as a quality control associate. She earned approximately $52,000 per year.     read more »

38 year-old restaurant manager awarded 15 months notice

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Chapple v. Umberto Management Ltd., 2009 BCSC 724, the 38 year old plaintiff was a manager at Il Caminetto restaurant in Whistler with 13.5 years of service when her employment came to an end in January 2007. She was earning a base salary of approximately $50,000 per year, plus gratuities.

The employer argued that the plaintiff had been suspended and then failed to return to work. The court, however, found that her employment had been terminated. 

Notice Period

The court awarded the plaintiff 15 months notice, pointing to the following features which it stated led to a somewhat longer notice period than the plaintiff's length of service justified:  read more »

Unite Here Local 40 and Aramark Sports and Entertainment reach tentative agreement

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The Vancouver Sun reported yesterday that Unite Here Local 40 and Aramark Sports and Entertainment reached a tentative collective agreement on March 20, 2009 for the food and beverage workers at GM Place.

According to the article, the tentative agreement, which is retroactive to December 11, 2008 and has a three year term, includes the following:

  • wage increases of 17 to 22% for non-tipped workers;
  • wage increases for tipped workers;
  • options for improving medical coverage; and
  • guarantees that workers are going to get the opportunity to work during the Olympics.

Food and beverage workers at GM Place vote 83% in favour of a strike

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The Vancouver Sun reported today that close to 750 food and beverage workers at GM Place voted 83% in favour of a strike last weekend.

The employees are represented by Unite Here Local 40. The employer is Aramark Sports and Entertainment. The collective agreement expired in December 2008.

You can read the full article here.