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I walked into a restaurant and the manager greeted me by…

Customer Question
I walked into a...

I walked into a restaurant and the manager greeted me by asking me if I was a WET Back - slang for illegal alien who has swam over the Rio Gran. What should I do? It left me speechless

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

I was in Maryland, I was costumer.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I called the restaurant and spoke with the manager and he offered to give me a free margarita.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Well, I spoke with the owner of the restaurant and explained my situation. then he asked me what do you want us to do about this? I did not know how to answer. Then I spoke with the manager at fault. this has really affected me badly. It took me at least a week to get up the courage to call. Then I could hardly speak about it to my family cause it affected me so badly. I cannot speak about it with out crying.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/19/2017
Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Using derogatory, racist language towards customers is a form of illegal discrimination under the federal Civil Rights Act. You have a choice as to what you want to happen. You could demand that the restaurant be fired, and because his action gives you a cause of action against the store, they may comply. You could ask that they implement sensitivity training for their employees. Or you could ask for an amount of money that you believe would be fair to compensate you for the distress the manager caused. That's a personal decision. Some people would ask for a free meal, some would want $10,000 (which is a bit high for an isolated incident). It's entirely possible that you'll be able to work out a reasonable settlement with the owner.

If you believe that talking to a therapist about what happened would help, you could then seek compensation from the owner for those bills. That might help you figure out what sort of damages to ask for.

Some people have also reported these types of racist incidents on social media, and let the public decide to speak with their dollars. As long as you accurately relate what happened, that is also legal.

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Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

If you have any questions or concerns, please reply WITHOUT RATING so I may address them. My goal is to provide you with excellent customer service. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so I get credit for assisting you today. Mobile users may have to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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