RESTAURANT CHEF BULLIES TEEN APPRENTICES

Ideal Catering Services, operator of Max's Restaurant in Red Hill, had a Head Chef who bullied two teenage apprentices, one of whom had autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and anxiety.

The Head Chef engaged in name-calling, throwing items, and making harmful remarks. He threw items at the first apprentice and told the vulnerable worker to slit his own wrists and drink boiling oil.

The Head Chef used offensive language towards staff on a regular basis and would tape cabbage leaves to the first apprentice’s head during work shifts. He also had the apprentice wear a plastic bag (containing 'eye cut-outs') on one occasion.

Despite the mother of one apprentice reporting the bullying to the director, the behaviour continued, leading to one apprentice resigning and the other taking sick leave.

WorkSafe investigated and found the behaviour constituted bullying and harassment, posing a high risk of psychological injury to the vulnerable apprentice.

In sentencing, the court considered the seriousness of the offense, the steps taken by the offender since the investigation, and the principles of our OHS laws.

Ideal Catering pleaded guilty, was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay court costs.

 

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