Stephen Terry's The Hardwick cleared of sexual discrimination allegations

02 May 2014 by
Stephen Terry's The Hardwick cleared of sexual discrimination allegations

Stephen Terry's restaurant, The Hardwick in Abergavenny, has been cleared of allegations of sexual discrimination.

Chloe Maisey, 19, from Merthyr Tydfil, who resigned from the award-winning restaurant after three months' employment, had made 21 allegations of sexual discrimination by the all-male staff.

However, an employment tribunal in Cardiff dismissed Maisey's case, saying she "lied or wildly embellished facts to embolden her claims".

The young chef had complained she was ogled every day as she changed into her chef's uniform at the restaurant, which has no female changing rooms.

She claimed she was "groped" when a male staff member slapped her bottom, and she was "scared and upset" after being shut in the freezer. Other claims included having a seabass and a mouse thrown at her.

Tribunal chairman Roger Harper said: "We find that on numerous occasions Chloe Maisey lied or wildly embellished facts to embolden her claims.

"She left because she couldn't handle the long hours. Many of her claims were dishonest. It is significant that she never complained to staff at the restaurant, her mother or father or her boyfriend. It was only at the end of her employment that she raised any grievance with her family."

Terry, who was awarded an Independent Restaurateur of the Year Catey in 2012 had told the tribunal that many of the events had never happened and dismissed the others as banter.

"Doing service is very stressful and there is a little bit of banter. You are in an environment where people mess about on occasions, but the guys are not malicious in any way. It is not that she was singled out because of her sex."

After the ruling, the chef-proprietor told the BBC: "Obviously we are very pleased and accept the tribunal's findings.

"We'd like to draw a line under this right now and move on. It's been a very hard time for myself and my family."

He added: "It's a tough place to work, a kitchen. It's like a family - we're very supportive of each other, we help each other. It's long days. It's not for everybody.

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