Coco’s Restaurant taken to Court over allegations director said worker looked “disgusting”

SmartCompany, October 18, 2018

Perth-based Coco’s Restaurant has been taken to Court over allegations it discriminated against a pregnant casual waitress by cutting her shifts and saying she looked “disgusting”.

The fair work ombudsman (FWO) has commenced legal action against the restaurant in the Federal Circuit Court over the allegations.

FWO Sandra Parker said the alleged conduct is “particularly serious” and it will seek penalties of up to $63,000 for Coco’s Restaurant and $12,600 for the director.

It is alleged the restaurant reduced and cancelled some of the employee’s shifts in July and September last year after finding out she was pregnant.

In one case it is alleged the employee’s shift was cancelled on the same evening she was supposed to work, with references made to her pregnancy.

It is also alleged on one occasion the company’s director told a supervisor to send the waitress home because she looked “disgusting”.

Parker said in a statement on Thursday it’s unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy.

“It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that they are aware of their obligations under workplace laws, and that they treat workers fairly,” Parker said. READ MORE: