1. Post #1
    pentium's Avatar
    January 2008
    11,191 Posts
    Usha Ram took the owners of the downtown Vancouver fast food franchise to court after she was fired at the end of 2013 from her position as a cook. Ram argued she had been given permission by the manager on duty to pack up the food and take it home without paying.

    Janif Mohammed, co-owner of the Granville Street fast food joint, represented himself in court and countered that he had a zero-tolerance policy for theft and said Ram took a sandwich, fries and soft drink, though Yayyaba Salman, the manager on duty at the time, testified she thought Ram had asked only to take a sandwich.

    Ram is a 55-year-old wife and mother who immigrated to Canada from Fiji in 1987. She has a Grade 8 education and a basic level of English. Throughout the trial, Ram testified in Hindi using an interpreter.

    Ram is the sole breadwinner, supporting both her physically handicapped husband and a mentally disabled adult daughter.
    At the end of her shift on Dec. 27, 2013, Ram asked Salman, the manager on duty, in Hindi if she could take home what was later translated in court as “fish fry” without paying, as she did not have her wallet that day.

    Salman, who also spoke Hindi, agreed and Ram packed a fish sandwich, an order of fries, and a pop. The manager later testified that she thought Ram was asking only to take home “fish” as in a fish sandwich, and not an order of fries as well.
    The following week, Salman waited to see if Ram would pay for the extra food she had taken, which came to a total cost of $1 once staff discounts were accounted for. When Ram did not, the manager notified Mohammed, and Ram was pulled into a meeting and accused of stealing.
    When Ram began crying and offered to pay for the food in hopes of keeping her job, she was told to leave. Ram left the premises in tears and uncertain whether she was still employed. Ram claims she suffered mental distress as a result of the incident.
    B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren concluded Ram was not given an appropriate chance to respond to the allegations and clarify that it was the result of a miscommunication. Warren also ruled Mohammed and franchise co-owner Michael Lacombe “behaved in an unreasonable, unfair and unduly insensitive manner” the day Ram was confronted with the allegations, noting Mohammed failed to take into account the difficulty Ram would face trying to find a job elsewhere, considering her age, poor English skills, and lack of education.

    Warren ordered the franchisee to pay Ram general damages of $21,000, which reflects a year’s worth of salary, and $25,000 in aggravated damages for Ram’s emotional turmoil following the dismissal.

    This is so fucking close to home for me that it makes me want to drink heavily again. Some of the more senior members here may remember that I ended up in almost the exact same situation at Vancouver's Costco food court a year before this incident happened. A few others know that I almost never mentally pulled through it either. To this day I still insist my shift manager said it was okay to do what I did, but I will never forget how the other manager decided otherwise.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    InfectedPotato's Avatar
    February 2013
    2,923 Posts
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