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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    12

    Default Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Illinois

    I was in a drive-thru of a fast food restaurant dealing with a rude employee. We parked the car and went inside to speak with a manager. The employee said she was not rude. I replied that she was being rude right now. She started screaming, "I'm not talking to you, white bitch!" The shift manager who witnessed this refunded my money, but did not speak to the employee, did not send her home and refused to give me her first name. This location is a fast food franchise. Can they be sued for non-action about racial slurs? And does it matter in terms of a lawsuit that I am white?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Suing someone for calling you a racial slur is a waste of time and your money.

    Post a bad review on Yelp and move on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,932

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Quote Quoting sedalina
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Illinois

    I was in a drive-thru of a fast food restaurant dealing with a rude employee. We parked the car and went inside to speak with a manager. The employee said she was not rude. I replied that she was being rude right now. She started screaming, "I'm not talking to you, white bitch!" The shift manager who witnessed this refunded my money, but did not speak to the employee, did not send her home and refused to give me her first name. This location is a fast food franchise. Can they be sued for non-action about racial slurs? And does it matter in terms of a lawsuit that I am white?
    If the fast food restaurant is part of a chain, then making an official complaint to the corporate headquarters will usually get some action. Most company headquarters even have places on their websites where you can leave complaints about specific stores.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Quote Quoting bcr229
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    Suing someone for calling you a racial slur is a waste of time and your money.

    Post a bad review on Yelp and move on.
    That's not what I asked. It would have been very easy for you to skip over the question if you have nothing of value to say.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,784

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Just about anyone can sue for just about anything in the US. I don't see where you have anything more than, at best, a nuisance suit. The manager is not required to discipline the employee on the spot, or at all really, nor are you entitled to know the outcome of that discipline.

    You are free to file a complaint with the corporate parent of the franchise but I don't see any successful legal action that will net you much of anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Quote Quoting sedalina
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Illinois

    I was in a drive-thru of a fast food restaurant dealing with a rude employee. We parked the car and went inside to speak with a manager. The employee said she was not rude. I replied that she was being rude right now. She started screaming, "I'm not talking to you, white bitch!" The shift manager who witnessed this refunded my money, but did not speak to the employee, did not send her home and refused to give me her first name. This location is a fast food franchise. Can they be sued for non-action about racial slurs? And does it matter in terms of a lawsuit that I am white?
    "Non-action" about as you describe, does not rise to the level of a valid "Cause of action". I can think of no legal theory to sue upon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,616

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    Quote Quoting sedalina
    View Post
    Can they be sued for non-action about racial slurs?
    You could not successfully sue for that because no law requires an employer to fire or otherwise discipline an employee for making racial insults or slurs. If you can prove that the business discriminated against you because of your race (e.g. refuse to serve you because of your race, treated you worse than other customers because of your race, etc) then you may have a good lawsuit to bring. The problem is few businesses discriminate against white customers so proving that the business treated you worse because you are white is going to be a difficult job. And then there is the issue of damages. You didn't suffer any financial loss or harm as a result of this rude employee which means that you'd likely win little to nothing in such a lawsuit. In short, it wouldn't be worth your time and money to pursue this over the rude comments of one employee.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,210

    Default Re: Can a Customer Sue a Business for Employees Calling Them Racial Slurs

    The fact that no action was taken in front of you is not proof that no action was taken. There is no requirement that she be disciplined in your presence or in public, and there is no requirement that you be told what action was taken.

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