"Toy Yoda" Employment Promise Decision Anticipated

October 12, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The trial of a waitress who has sued her employer for allegedly breaking a promise could wind up today in Panama City, Florida.

A local Hooters restaurant manager allegedly told waitresses that the one who sold the most beer in April would win a “new Toyota automobile.”  However, when plaintiff Jodee Berry was led to the parking lot for her prize, she was instead given a toy “Yoda” Star Wars doll.

Circuit Judge Glenn Hess heard arguments Monday on a motion by the Hooters at nearby Panama City Beach to dismiss the suit, or send the case to mediation and arbitration.  A decision is expected today.

The restaurant’s lawyer points to a provision in the employee handbook that requires employees to seek mediation before suing the employer.  That manual was signed by Berry, who now says she didn’t realize what she had signed, and felt that she had no option than to sign the document.

– Nevin Adams    editors@plansponsor.com