The Malta Independent 20 May 2022, Friday

Waitress sacked for not serving cake which was out of fridge for two hours gets €5,000 compensation

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 15:03 Last update: about 5 months ago

A local restaurant has been ordered to pay €5,000 to a waitress who was sacked for refusing to serve a cheesecake which had been left out of the fridge for two hours to clients.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the industrial tribunal decision, and ordered Suda Entertainments Limited – which runs the Pepe Nero restaurant – to pay Giulia Gattuccio €5,000 as compensation for her unjust dismissal.

Gattuccio said that she worked with the company between December 2016 and July 2018, although the company claimed that she had actually stopped coming to work rather than being sacked.

In her testimony, the Italian waitress said that she was sacked from her job because she had refused to serve a cheesecake which had been out of the fridge for two hours, despite her manager ordering her to do so.

She said that the manager demanded that she apologise for not serving the case, and that when she refused to do so, she was sacked.

The restaurant’s manager – Doris Zarb – admitted that she had ordered Gattuccio to serve the cake and that the waitress had refused to do so.  She said that this was not the only incident involving Gattuccio and that when she saw that she had stopped coming into work, she removed the waitress from the roster.

After hearing the evidence, the industrial tribunal remarked that the company had no idea of what a disciplinary process is, and sustained that even though the employee had always done her job as she should have, she was sacked without any disciplinary proceedings.

Therefore, the tribunal ordered the company to pay Gattuccio €5,000 in compensation.

The company appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeal presided over by Judge Lawrence Mintoff confirmed the sentence.

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