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  1. #1

    Default Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    Hello,
    I own a small ice cream and coffee shop. A couple of weeks ago, a group came in and ordered ice cream and then ordered a cappuccino (which takes a couple of minutes to make). They sat down and ate their ice cream. The employees began their drink, but then totally forgot about it sitting on the espresso machine. Thirty minutes later, the man came up to the counter angry and our employees (two white non-hispanic girls) apologized and offered to remake his drink. He demanded his money back (which we complied along with another apology). He and his girlfriend then got so angry immediately demanding home office information or franchise information (which we have none, as we are a small Mom and Pop). It infuriated them that they could not talk to someone immediately (it was Sunday and I was at the hospital with my brother who has cancer). A gentlemen in the dining room stood up and said to them "I am an off duty police officer and they have apologized, given you back your money and given you the name and number of the manager, they have done all they can for you and you need to leave the premises" They then called the sheriff's office and filled out a police report (which we have not seen). I looked on caller I.D. for their number, called them and left a message apologizing for their unpleasant experience.

    Now, three weeks later they call back saying we discriminated against them because they are hispanic and are going to all of the news channels and better business bureau and this is "So much bigger than us". He yelled at me on the phone for one hour and DEMANDED I send him a letter saying we discriminated against him and wants it posted in our stores so "Everyone will know not to come to our establishments, because we discriminate against everyone". Of course, I will not send a letter because our employees just forgot the drink... that is all.. nothing nefarious.

    I am heading to an attorney tomorrow morning and also going to the Sheriff's office to get a copy of that police report. It is sad that we have been in business 15 years and have never needed an attorney until today.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Racism and Discrimination

    when you start your own thread, we will tell you that you have nothing to worry about.

    I would not talk to this person again. I certainly wouldn't write him any letter admitting to discrimination.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    I didn't see a question in there. Yes, sometimes customers are unreasonable, and yes, sometimes they behave outrageously.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    Sorry, actually the question kind of was...I guess there is no other alternative than to get a lawyer? If they do go to the media, do we have any recourse? We have worked very hard to build our business and reputation in the community for 15 years and would NEVER promote, condone or allow discrimination of any sort and it saddens us that it seems that can have so much power over us for a supposed perceived issue. It sort of diminishes instances where people are legitimately discriminated against.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    You haven't been sued, or charged with any offenses. I think at present you might be better off consulting a public relations firm than a law firm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    Quote Quoting RoyettaGinther
    View Post
    Sorry, actually the question kind of was...I guess there is no other alternative than to get a lawyer? If they do go to the media, do we have any recourse? We have worked very hard to build our business and reputation in the community for 15 years and would NEVER promote, condone or allow discrimination of any sort and it saddens us that it seems that can have so much power over us for a supposed perceived issue. It sort of diminishes instances where people are legitimately discriminated against.
    Of course it does.

    While the world is full of strange happenstance, I would bet the mortgage on this never seeing the glare of a video camera... well, unless the anchor was one of the people looking for the coffee.

    Your staff didn't discriminate. They did serve the group. They forgot one part of the order. You made good on that mistake.

    End of story.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination

    This is an OBVIOUS attempt at a shake-down.

    Do not talk to that person again. If you are contacted, ask that person to put their complaint into writing and send it to you at the store. Never give out any personal information. You should have an attorney for your business that you can call on. Refer that person to your attorney.

    Do NOT issue any letter or other document to this person.

    There was no discrimination. This is a nut case or just someone trying to shake you down for some money. I doubt any media outlet is going to take any notice. You might want to prepare a written statement on the incident just in case. Also get notarized statements from your employees now, in advance of anything happening.

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