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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I was verbally insulted by an employees at a mcdonalds; can

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I was verbally insulted by an employees at a mcdonalds; can I sue?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

What kind of insults were these? Were they discriminatory in nature?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


This is what happened:


 


I pulled into McDonald's, ordered, paid at the first window, then proceeded to the second window to pick up my order.


 


Upon arriving at the window, the employee asked, "You want to cancel your order right?". I said, "what?". She said, "A small caramel frappe, you want to cancel right? Because you don't need that." I said, "why's that, because I'm fat?" She said, "They told me to say it, it was just a joke forget I said it."


 


While I am overweight, I am currently losing--I have lost 13 lbs so far. No milestone I realize and I have another 30 lbs to go but I shouldn't have to put up with insulting remarks from an employee of a restaurant where I am purchasing food. 85% of Americans are either obese or overweight, I am not alone. I would venture to guess that a large portion of these people eat at McDonald's; does McDonald's want their employees to insult every overweight customer? Certainly if they did this, they would find themselves with very few customers.


 


It's ironic that the employee that made the comment was overweight herself! And now every time I consider pulling into a local fast-food restaurant I don't. I fear I will be subject to ridicule and again be embarrassed beyond belief.


 


I have been thin most of my life--I am very athletic. But I went thru a difficult 5 years and my excess weight is a result of that. I suffer from depression, when I feel depressed I eat. I know it is the wrong thing to do and I am trying to correct it. But depression is hard enough to beat without assholes saying horrible things to you--they don't even know me. If you yourself have never been overweight, you have no idea how rude and deliberately mean people can be.


 


I appreciate you taking the time to help.....thank you. I know if you can't help I can try contacting McDonald's directly but I don't think they really care, if they did, they would certainly do a better job of training their employees.

Hi again.

I'm sorry that happened to you. I would be similarly upset if I were in your shoes. It's outrageous, and certainly a stupid thing for an employee of a business to say to a customer. As you suggested, if that were acceptable conduct for an employee, McDonald's would have few customers.

However, I'm sorry to say that this is not a legal issue; this is a customer service issue. Unfortunately, while the law prohibits discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and age, the law does not (yet) prohibit discrimination based upon weight. Accordingly, I'm sorry to say that it does not appear that you have the basis to take legal action against McDonald's. As you suggested, you should contact McDonald's and complain. I suspect if you contact the regional office, action will be taken. You may also suggest that you may inform the local news about what occurred. I would bet that McDonald's will do what it can to make this right.

I am truly sorry to give you the bad news that you do not have a basis to take legal action, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. I do ask that you rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not based upon whether the answer was good news or bad news. Your positive feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
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