Tuesday, 11 July 2023 22:38
CHICAGO (WLS) — A former employee of Hugo’s Frog Bar in downtown Chicago is demanding repayment and to get his job back after he was fired, he said, speaking of unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
“Every step is just a burst of water or straight into the water,” said Matthew Cabrales.
Cabrales was fired just 11 months from his dream job at a Gold Coast restaurant on Rush Street. He said it came after a normal shift on June 4 that turned into a sodden nightmare.
“It smelled like sewage as soon as you hit the back of the house,” he recalls.
Cabrales recorded cell phone video showing what he claims is a sewage reservoir reeking of sewage flooding parts of the restaurant while customers are still being served.
“We didn’t get a plumber there until 8:30, and we’ve been protesting with our manager for two and a half, three hours about why haven’t we been closed yet?” he says.
Cabrales has now filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Council, claiming the restaurant broke the law and hit back at him for talking about what he says are unsafe and unsanitary conditions. He said management fired him for using his cell phone at work.
“Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are permitted to use cell phones to record evidence they believe relates to employee rights, employee health and the safety of others,” said attorney David Fish.
In a statement from the owners of the Gibson Restaurant Group, they said the restaurant “had a drain in its dishwasher area one evening last month which caused several puddles of water under the kitchen floor mats at the back of the house.”
“Dishes to be cleaned were transferred to alternative dishwashing stations until the situation was resolved. The health or safety of our customers or employees was never put in jeopardy,” the statement continued.
The owners would not comment on why Cabrales was fired, saying they did not discuss employee matters publicly.
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