Ohio Taco Bell employee caught on video appearing to mock deaf customer
KETTERING, OH (FOX19) - A mother is speaking out after she says her deaf son was discriminated against while trying to place an order at a fast food restaurant.
He was in the drive-thru at Taco Bell while the workers mocked him and then ignored him, she said.
The incident was all caught on camera as 25-year-old Brandon Burch showed an employee his selections from a list on his phone.
The video shows the employee refusing to take the order.
The employee then reportedly gave him a note while motioning for Burch to come inside.
His mother, Becky Burch, says it was painful to watch.
“It broke my heart because to me he’s a person just like anyone else. He just communicates differently," she said.
Brandon Burch says the employees not only ignored him, but they also tried to humiliate him.
“And those people were making fun of me and mocking me," he said.
His girlfriend, who is also deaf, was in the car recording the video.
They stayed in line for about three minutes trying to communicate their order before the employee threatened to call police if they didn’t move.
Brandon Burch says they just wanted their food.
The restaurant in Kettering has a sign on the drive-thru window stating: “Customers with hearing or other disabilities please pull up to the next window for assistance.”
Becky Burch says she decided to share the video on Facebook to bring awareness so that others are not discriminated against.
“It’s upsetting. We want people to be educated," she said. “They’re just like everybody else."
Taco Bell released a statement saying, in part: “The franchise owner and operator of this location has investigated this situation and the team member no longer works for their organization. All team members at this restaurant are being retrained by the franchise owner on their policies.”
Becky Burch says it was never her intention to get anyone fired. She is calling for improved training for Taco Bell workers.
Here is the company’s entire statement:
“Taco Bell has a fundamental policy to respect all of our customers and employees, and we are committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or harassment. The franchise owner and operator of this location has investigated this situation and the team member no longer works for their organization. All team members at this restaurant are being retrained by the franchise owner on their policies.”
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