This young Filipino has a very personal way to settle disputes with his boss. For a mundane case of distributing tipping at the end of the season, the employee was paid far less than what he was expected to receive. Distraught over needing to send money to his family in the Philippines, the waiter argued, gestured and then punched his boss in the face.
The case was referred to the Criminal Court and the accused was sentenced to eight days suspended imprisonment.
“I lost my reason under pressure”
On 21 October 2016, it was the end of the season, the period of congratulations and bonuses. The 23-year-old made a quick calculation—he should receive around €800 extra from tips left by customers. But during the division, he was given less than €200, while other employees received up to €1,700.
The server asks for an explanation, which made the tone tense. As the boss felt threatened, he rejected his aggressor. The server punched his boss two times in the face, seriously injuring the man. In court, the defendant tried to explain himself working in Monaco to send money to his sick grandfather in the Philippines. But the presiding judge had no sympathy: “This is not a reason to hit your employer… because you are unhappy. Besides, coming to blows has made you lose your job. What are you living on?”
The server, who arrived in France in 2011, admitted to subsisting thanks to small jobs between €200 and €400. He has also been hosted and financially supported by his aunt.
“This is the first time I’ve had a problem with a superior,” the defendant claimed. “I lost my reason under pressure.”
While recalling the verbal aggressiveness of the defendant and his disproportionate response leading to a two-day ITT (two days of not being able to work) for his employer, prosecutor said of the accused: “whether he is right or wrong, he lost his footing. This behaviour, even if his boss is a boor, must be prevented, especially in a workplace. In view of his financial situation, I request a 10-day suspended sentence.”
The defence battled the charges from the start. “My client was not dismissed,” he said. “His contract ended at the end of October. The €200 sum the boss provided is the gratuity for a part-time job. It’s wrong! Look at the salary bulletins since September 2015! No explanation is given and the description of the boss is very watered down. He was much more violent. Know that this money helped his family with his grandfather’s emergency hospitalization. In the case of non-payment, care ceases in his country. Grant this young man the broadest attenuating circumstances.”
The court reduced the prosecution’s requests by two days, to an eight-day suspended sentence.