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25th Aug 2021

Waiter wins unfair dismissal case after ‘boss farted and wafted it towards him’

Kieran Galpin


The boss of L’antipasto in Battersea also asked the waiter if he wanted to see his poo

A waiter from a south London restaurant has won a bizarre dispute with his boss after quitting over “childish behaviour” from his manager that included farting and wafting it towards him.

Edgar Simplicio claimed Alessandro Cretella, owner of the Italian restaurant L’antipasto in Battersea, also burped in his face and asked him whether he would like to see a picture of his poo during his employment.

Following a massive row in the restaurant, Simplicio resigned.

An employment tribunal has since ruled that Simplicio was unfairly dismissed due to the “unreasonable conduct” of his boss who left him with no other choice.

Simplicio started working at L’antipasto as a waiter in September 2007, almost a year after Cretella took over the businesses from his father Alfonso.

Cretella told the tribunal he suffered from excessive gas and could not control when he burps or breaks wind because he has oesophagitis, a condition affecting the swallowing of food and known to cause acid reflux.

He admitted to the hearing that he had a childish sense of humour, but denied farting loudly and wafting it in Simplicio’s direction.

Simplicio also told the tribunal that Cretella called him over on a number of occasions and deliberately burped loudly, sometimes into his face, and recalled an occasion in early in 2020 when his boss said in a light-hearted way to his wife, “Edgar doesn’t like my burps”.

Describing Cretella as “unprofessional and inept”, Simplicio told the tribunal his boss would serve food while not wearing shoes, left toothpicks and dental floss at the bar, and would frequently lie down on a bench in front of customers.

All of this boiled over in August 2020 when Simplicio said he had been underpaid for a year, leading to a passionate row between the pair in front of customers.

It concluded with Cretella shouting: “F*** off f***ing s**t, go, go away. Had enough of it… take your f***ing money and f***ing go…”

Simplicio responded: “I can’t have you speaking like that to me.”

After signing off work for stress and anxiety, Simplicio later went on holiday. When he returned, he quit.

The tribunal concluded: “That burping near [Mr Simplicio], loudly breaking wind and wafting the smell and asking [Mr Simplicio] if he wanted to see a photo of his faecal matters were inappropriate and amounted to unreasonable conduct.

“[Edgar] cannot be expected to put up with the behaviour Mr Cretella displayed on that day.”

A compensation hearing will be held at a later date.

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