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By Thulasi Srikanthan

A kitchen employee who works in the International Living Learning Centre may have been hired improperly, according to Ryerson’s official hiring policy.

The staff member in question is the son of Patti Franklin, the assistant manager of food services for Pitman Hall and the ILLC student residences.

Franklin’s son Chris works at Maggie’s Eatery in the ILLC, and in a letter submitted to Human Resources in February, staff drafted a petition complaining that his relation to a senior member of managerial staff was a conflict of interest.

Ryerson’s hiring policy dictates: “Relatives will not be hired…into departments in which a relative is currently employed, when the hiring/transfer will result in…a conflict of interest.”

Director of Ancillary Services John Corallo said he wasn’t at liberty to talk, pending an investigation about the matter, but assured “the policy says that Christopher does not report to Patti Franklin.”

However, when Chris’s manager is away, he refers to his mother, who then assumes responsiblity for Maggie’s Eatery. An investigation is underway since 15 staff members complained about Chris’s hygiene and behaviour. Former ILLC employee Chafic Filfili worked with Chris before, and said he found his attitude “bossy” and “arrogant.”

Filfili said staff were reluctant to challenge Franklin because of possible repercussions. “His mom was working there, and everyone needed their job,” he said.

Over the next few weeks, Corallo said ILLC staff will be interviewed in “a fact-finding exercise,” and a decision should be reached before April. He is not sure whether findings from the probe will be released publicly.

“It all depends on what comes out of these interviews,” Corallo said, adding he couldn’t comment further because Ryerson’s policy prevents him from speaking about employee issues.

Franklin was reluctant to speak about her son. “I can’t say anything right now. My hands are fully tied,” she said.

Franklin reiterated that the investigation prevents her from being able to comment, before hanging up the phone.

Chris could not be reached for comment. ILLC employees contacted by The Eyeopener declined to comment, citing that management told them not to speak publicly about the incident.

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