Restaurant Manager Awarded Compensation for Punching Customer

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compensationOh those wild Aussies! A Melbourne restaurant manager with a police record punched a customer so long and hard that he broke his wrist in the process, and was awarded, by a magistrate, thousands of dollars in worker's compensation. The magistrate ruled that the angry customer, not the manager, "was the verbal and physical aggressor."

Here's how the whole thing went down, according to news.com.au: It had been a tough night at the Boronia Red Rooster. Three employees were no-shows, and the restaurant was understaffed. A disgruntled and allegedly drunk customer started complaining about the wait to manager Matthew Styles, and the argument became heated.

The customer threatened to get Styles fired, and punched a window. Styles responded by calling the customer a a "f---ing clown and f---ing maggot." Videotape of the incident showed the customer walking toward the manager, who raised his hands to defend himself. A tussle, with punching, grabbing and swearing ensued. During the struggle, Styles broke his wrist.

When Styles put in a compensation claim for his workplace injury, Red Rooster refused to cover it, saying he did not honor its "employee behavior standards" and should therefore not receive any compensation. Legal representatives of the restaurant also cited Styles' previous criminal record, which contained several assault convictions, including one against a police officer.

But the magistrate ruled that Styles' injuries occurred "out of or in the course of the employment," and granted him 13 weeks of lost pay. Red Rooster is currently deciding whether or not to appeal the decision.

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