02/02/2018 14:15 EST | Updated 02/02/2018 19:16 EST

Quebec Restaurant Coco Frutti ordered to rehire waitress for allegedly not smiling

Coco Frutti was also ordered to pay Caroline Daunais $30,000 in lost wages and interest.

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MONTREAL — A waitress dismissed for allegedly having a bad attitude and not smiling enough has been awarded $30,000 and must be given her job back, Quebec's labour tribunal ruled.

Caroline Daunais had been working at the Coco Frutti restaurant in Victoriaville, Que, for about six months when she was fired in April 2016, according to a decision released Jan. 29.

Daunais filed a complaint to the tribunal, claiming she was fired after asking for back pay owed to her.

In the official notice of her firing, the restaurant owner stated Daunais had disrespected her colleague by waiting on one of her tables.

Everyone had problems with her, owner said

The owner told the tribunal, however, that Daunais was also let go "because of her bad attitude and for not smiling enough."

The restaurant owner added "everyone had problems with her" and with regards to back pay, the owner said she was the only person out of 35 employees who had complained.

She was eventually given all the money owed to her, the judgement reads.

Tribunal judge Christian Drolet didn't recognize the restaurant's excuse as serious, finding instead they used it as a pretext to terminate the only employee who asked for back pay — notably the day before she was fired.

He added the plaintiff made reasonable efforts to minimize the damage by looking for another job.

"There is no reason to conclude that a comparable job was available or that she unreasonably withheld an offer of employment that she should reasonably have accepted," he wrote.

Drolet ordered Coco Frutti to reinstate her, pay her $28,240 in lost wages, and about $2,000 in interest.

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