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A 23-year-old girl from Southend has vowed to take her ex-employer to court after she claims that she was sacked from her waitressing role at swanky Southend restaurant Nu Munnies by TEXT MESSAGE. As if that wasn’t distressing enough for her, she was told that her manager had taken this decision due to recently falling pregnant.
Chloe Hermitage joined the restaurant in 2013, and she was recently celebrating with her long-term boyfriend Michael Cartwright, 25, after they found out that she was expecting. Around six weeks into her pregnancy, she finished a shift and told her boss Paul White the good news. She said: ‘He was delighted for me when I told him, and he even gave me a hug and said that the restaurant do everything possible to ensure that I had a happy and healthy pregnancy. I went home buzzing that night.’
However, a couple of days later on February 18th, Chloe got a huge shock when she sent Paul a text message to find out about her shift start time the following day. Mr White returned her message and said that she should look for employment elsewhere, giving the reason that her waters could break and upset some of his regular customers in a time when his business ‘didn’t need it.’ She pointed out that she was only 6 weeks pregnant at that point, but his mind was already made up.
She continued: ‘I can’t believe that a business owner or even a normal human being could act in that way – a text message is just a callous and inhumane way of breaking that sort of news to an employee, even with a smiley face on the end. I don’t even know if it is legal to treat an employee in that way, but then again I should leave that sort of discussion to a lawyer. I have given three years of my life to that place, and I get cast aside because I dared to fall pregnant – he is a silly, silly boy.’
We approached Mr White to ask for a comment on the matter, and on numerous occasions he promised to meet us and then cancelled. However, in an email to our Chief Reporter he said: ‘We are operating in an incredibly competitive marketplace, and I simply cannot afford to upset my customers. I had no intention of upsetting her when I sent that text, but if I had told her face-to-face she would have probably smashed a glass around my face or shouted at me or something – I don’t need that sort of aggravation as a professional business owner. Besides, I looked at an article on Wikipedia and apparently waters can break at any time during a pregnancy.’
He continued: ‘Once she has had the baby and arranged for it to be taken care of we would love to have her back.’
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