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Mark Scheifele being sued by former personal chef
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele is being sued by his former personal chef.
Jeremy John Senaris, who was a contestant on MasterChef Canada, filed a statement of claim on Feb. 12 against Scheifele and a numbered company controlled by the athlete.
According to the court documents, Senaris was hired to be the Jets player’s personal chef for the 2017/18 hockey season, with his job beginning on Aug. 11, 2017. It says his workload included designing meal plans, coordinating meals while the hockey player was out of town, and preparing his food while he was in Winnipeg.
The statement of claim says Senaris’ contract included a monthly salary of $6,250 a month ($50,000 a year), a benefit plan, reimbursement of out-of-pocket-costs, and to treat Senaris fairly in the event his job was terminated.
The court documents describe Senaris as a competent, faithful and diligent worker. It says he “regularly received positive reinforcement,” was often mentioned during interviews with the media as a reason for the hockey player’s athletic performance, and “at no time was the Plaintiff disciplined or reprimanded in anyway by Mr. Scheifele or his agents.”
The statement of claim says Senaris fulfilled his contractual obligations, but Scheifele didn’t pay him in a “timely and consistent manner;” didn’t give the chef health benefits; and didn’t “reimburse the Plaintiff in a timely and consistent manner, causing the Plaintiff to incur substantial out of pocket expenses in carrying out his duties as an employee.”
THE 2018 CONTRACT
Scheifele hired Senaris again to work as his personal chef for the 2018/19 NHL season.
The terms of chef’s new contract included: Senaris resigning from his full-time job as a draftsman with the City of Winnipeg; a salary increase from $50,000 to $55,000; that Scheifele would pay the chef in a consistent and timely manner; that the athlete would pay all outstanding costs owed to Senaris; and that Scheifele would reimburse the chef for his disbursements in a consistent and timely manner.
Senaris began his work for his second NHL season on Sept. 7, 2018.
According to the statement of claim on Sept. 11, Scheifele’s agent asked Senaris to change the contract to include another NHL player “at a cost, substantially below what Mr. Scheifele was paying the Plaintiff.” Senaris said he refused and his “employment was terminated suddenly and without warning or just cause on September 15, 2018.”
“The plaintiff states that the changes set out above constitute a unilateral and substantial change to a fundamental term of the 2018 contract,” the statement of claim says.
The court documents allege that Senaris was “wrongfully dismissed.”
“In light of the substantial changes to the employment relationship, and Mr. Scheifele’s conduct, it would have been demeaning for the Plaintiff to continue to work for Mr. Scheifele, under the newly imposed conditions. As a result, the Plaintiff immediately commenced seeking new employment elsewhere in order to mitigate his damages,” the statement of claim reads.
Senaris is seeking $75,000 in damages.
CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to Scheifele’s agent for comment. Senaris’ lawyer is not commenting at this time.
No statement of defense has been filed, and none of the allegations have been tested in court.