Winnipeg Jets star Mark Scheifele is being sued by his former personal chef, Jeremy John Senaris — a MasterChef Canada finalist in 2016.
Senaris is in search of $75,000 in damages for “wrongful dismissal and breach of contract,” according to a statement of claim filed last week in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, via Marina von Stackelberg of CBC News and Dean Pritchard of The Winnipeg Free Press.
Senaris is claiming that he was fired after Scheifele attempted to double his workload. Furthermore, he’s claiming that he wasn’t paid on time.
“Ultimately, Mr. Scheifele... doubled the plaintiff’s workload without his consent and agreement,” the lawsuit states. “The way that Mr. Scheifele attempted to impose these changes (was) done in a manner that was callous, unprofessional, and Mr. Scheifele did not provide the plaintiff with a legitimate business purpose for the change.”
Senaris was Scheifele’s personal chef from August 2017 until September 2018, according to von Stackelberg. Some of the chef’s responsibilities included preparing Scheifele’s meals when he was at home with the Jets in Winnipeg and planning them when he was on the road during the NHL regular season.
During the 2017-18 campaign, Senaris was hired at a salary of $50,000, per Pritchard. He would be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and receive health benefits.
Senaris claims that those things didn’t happen, though. Scheifele allegedly often didn’t pay him on time and never provided Senaris the health benefits that he was promised.
That was just the beginning of the issues to come for Senaris.
Ahead of the 2018-19 season, Scheifele’s agent, Robert Hooper, reached out to Senaris and “demanded” that another NHL player be included in the contract. The lawsuit did not identify the other player by name, per Pritchard.
Senaris refused to adjust the contract as he “alleges the agent wanted to double his workload, but not his pay,” according to von Stackelberg. A few days later, Senaris was fired “without warning or just cause”, the lawsuit alleges, per Pritchard and von Stackelberg.
As of Tuesday, a statement of defence has not been filed. The allegations have not been proven in court.
Whether these allegations are completely true or not, this is a tough look for Scheifele. The 26-year-old is currently in the fourth season of an eight-year, $49-million contract.
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