Taco Bell reportedly fired an employee after a viral video showed workers refusing to serve a deaf customer
- Taco Bell came under fire after employees at a Kettering, Ohio, restaurant reportedly called the police on a deaf patron.
- In a viral video posted by the customer's mother, an employee can be seen refusing the man service.
- ABC 7 reported that the employee called police. Responding officers offered to buy the customer food.
- Taco Bell released a statement to NBC saying that the employee had been fired and all workers in its Kettering, Ohio, restaurant would be retrained.
A Taco Bell employee has reportedly been fired following a drive-thru incident involving a deaf customer on Sunday.
Brandon Washburn, who is deaf, reportedly attempted to place a drive-thru order at the Kettering, Ohio, Taco Bell using his cell phone. Washburn's mother, Becky Rosemont Burch, told NBC that her son has "never had a problem" ordering via his phone at other restaurants.However, a Taco Bell employee reportedly told Washburn that he couldn't accommodate his order. Taco Bell and Burch did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The incident was captured on video by Washburn's girlfriend and subsequently posted on Facebook by Burch.
"It's against company policy, I can't do it," the employee can be heard saying in the video before closing the drive-thru window. Burch told NBC that the employee wanted her son to come inside the restaurant to place his order.
In the video, the same employee then re-opens the window to tell Washburn, "I will call 911 if you don't move." He also can be heard telling Washburn and his girlfriend that they weren't allowed to record him.
ABC 7 reported that the police were ultimately called to the scene, but that responding officers sided with Washburn and offered to purchase the couple's order.The Taco Bell employee in the video has reportedly been fired. In a statement to NBC, the fast-food chain also said that all employees in the Kettering, Ohio, location were being retrained as a result of the incident.
The situation at Taco Bell isn't the first of its kind. Viral videos of alleged instances of discrimination involving restaurant customers and employees are on the rise.
A white man was captured hurling abuse at a woman dressed in a niqab in a California coffee shop. Starbucks set off a major controversy last April when Philadelphia-area employees called the police on two black men who were waiting to meet up with a friend. The chain subsequently shut down for a day-long bias training session on May 29.
And, recently, Chipotle came under fire after a manager refused to serve a group of black men, who were later revealed to have previously tweeted about dining and dashing. The Tex-Mex chain subsequently offered the employee her job back.