A longtime Burger King employee in Vancouver, Canada, found herself on the winning side of a judgment when a court decided she was fired over a misunderstanding about a fish sandwich.
The case dated back to Dec. 27, 2013, when Usha Ram asked the manager on duty, in her native Hindi language, if she could take home what was translated by the court as a “fish fry” without paying. The Vancouver Sun reported that court documents revealed that she said she left her wallet at home that day.
The manager on duty, Yayyaba Salman, who also spoke Hindi, told her she could. Ram took a fish sandwich, an order of fries and a drink home with her. Salman later testified that she thought Ram was asking to take home a only fish sandwich, not an order of fries and a drink.
When Ram did not pay for the extra food taken, Salman notified Janif Mohammed, co-owner of the restaurant, who held a meeting with Ram and accused her of stealing.
Ram, 55, became upset at the accusation and offered to pay for the food. However, she was told to leave.
It should be noted that the total value of the food taken, after an employee discount, came to about 50 cents.
Ram, who had been with the company for nearly 25 years and had a history of being a good employee, took the case to court.
CTV News reported that Mohammed testified that he had a “zero-tolerance” policy for theft, regardless of the value of the items stolen.
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren didn’t buy his reasoning for firing Ram. She said Ram was not given a suitable chance to respond to the allegations, which were the result of a miscommunication. She added that even if Mohammed could prove Ram intended to steal, she should not have been fired.
Warren awarded Ram a $46,000 settlement in Canadian currency: $21,000 for lost salary plus an additional $25,000 in aggravated damages. In U.S. dollars, that would be about $35,000 in all.
There are a lot of seemingly frivolous lawsuits out there, and a “theft” of 50 cents seems almost too petty to take up a court’s time. But this was a case about a woman’s honesty, honor and job. It’s good to see the court came down on the side of justice.
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H/T Fox News