“I’m not a waitress” finance manager loses discrimination case

A finance manager who was asked by the Chief Executive to get more wine at a company dinner, and responded with “I’m not a waitress”, has lost her claim for constructive dismissal and discrimination.

The adjudicator at the Workplace Relations Commission held that the Chief Executive’s request was made because she was the one who held the company credit card and the same request would have been made of a man if he held the card.

She lost her constructive dismissal claim as she had failed to give the employer sufficient time to deal with the grievance she had submitted.

When this case commenced the heading on one of the reports at the time looked bad for the employer, as the phrase “I’m not a waitress” featured large in the reporting. And this is a graphic, juicy headline.

But when you dig beneath the weeds of the case and hear the other side of the story, hear all the evidence, the pendulum can easily swing from one side to the other.

This is nearly always the way.

Every case has its own conflict of evidence, different stories told by the parties involved. It is only when you see the whole case in the round, hear all the evidence, that you can arrive at a fair determination of the claim.

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