Trainee chef loses sex discrimination claim against top Welsh restaurant

by Redmans Solicitors on May 9, 2014

A teenager employed as a trainee chef at a prestigious Welsh restaurant has failed in her claims at an Employment Tribunal and has been criticized for the nature of her evidence.

Ms Chloe Maisey, 19, worked as a trainee pastry chef at The Hardwick in Abergavenny for three months last year until she resigned from her job and submitted claims for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 in the Employment Tribunal.

The former trainee chef submitted 21 separate incidents as the factual bases for her claims for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal, claiming that a mouse had been thrown at her, that she had been shut in a freezer by a colleague, and that one of her colleagues had threatened to kill her. Ms Maisey claimed that she had resigned because of the conduct of her colleagues and that she had been treated less favourably than male colleagues during the course of her employment.

The claim came to an Employment Tribunal hearing late last month, with Ms Maisey and the staff of her former employer giving evidence. Among other things, Ms Maisey claimed that she had been subjected to a variety of behaviour including:

  • That a colleague had put earwigs in her saucepan
  • That she had been “forced” to change in front of male colleagues
  • That she had been “pressured” into showing her male colleagues her tattoos and body piercings
  • That a mouse had been thrown at her
  • That she had been locked into a fridge-freezer
  • That a female colleague had made a threat to kill her

The Employment Tribunal ruled against Ms Maisey in her claims for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination, holding that she had “lied or wildly embellished facts to bolster her claim”. Employment Judge Harper stated that the teenager’s claim that there had been no other women to turn to at work as “quite simply untrue” and that she had made allegations that had “been wildly exaggerated or twisted”. Mr Harper went on to add that “Far from being the polite and demure witness that the Tribunal saw in court on Monday, the Claimant was very much involved with the banter in the kitchen”. Mr Harper’s judgment finished by concluding that the majority of incidents in no way related to the Claimant’s sex and that she was therefore no less fairly treated. The only criticism that the Employment Tribunal made of the restaurant was that it had failed to present the Claimant with a copy of a contract of employment within eight weeks of her commencing employment.

Mr Stephen Terry, owner and head chef at the restaurant, commented after the hearing that he was “very pleased” with the outcome and that he wanted to move on from the Employment Tribunal.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “In order to succeed with allegations of direct sex discrimination a Claimant would have to show that they were treated less favourably than members of the opposite sex. It is clear that in this case Ms Maisey failed to show that she was treated less favourably and, further, the Tribunal went so far as to criticize the nature of the evidence that she gave to the Employment Tribunal”.

Redmans Solicitors are employment solicitors in Chiswick, with their main offices located in Richmond

Redmans Solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Commercial law, employment law and litigation firm based in Richmond, London
Redmans Solicitors

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