Black Server Says Restaurant Cut His Hours After He Was Target Of Racist Act By Two Co-Workers
The employees who wrote the racial slur have only been given a written warning.
November 13, 2019 at 5:38 pm
A Black restaurant employee was the target of a racist joke by two co-workers, and while they have yet to be fired, he's now bearing the brunt of their bigotry.
Rakevion White works at Breakfast Club in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. He was working as a server assistant on the cooking line on October 22 when a new order came in from the bar reading “n***a order.”
"It pretty much lets me know that another order had come in for me to fulfill or whatnot, and so that's when I saw the order and it said 'N***a Order' on it,” he told BuzzFeed.
He was the only person working in that part of the restaurant at the time the order came in, so he knew it was directed at him. White confronted a worker who was stationed at the bar, asking her to remove it, but she disregarded it and laughed it off.
"I asked her if she could take the order down or change the name because I was offended by it and I was upset that she was sending something in like that to me, and she said that she didn’t know how to take it down," White said.
The 21-year-old took the slip to the manager but was met with indifference. He learned a second co-worker was also involved, but the manager said: “it was more than likely a joke.” White said the response from his manager was disappointing and made him feel uncomfortable.
"It made me feel uncomfortable because it’s like, OK, well, you're pretty much saying it's acceptable but since they explained to you that they were joking then I should be OK with it," he said.
White took to Instagram to explain what happened, noting his hours as well as other Black employees’ hours, have since been reduced. The Arizona State University student relies on the job to pay for school, and his schedule has reduced from about 25 hours a week to 14 to 18 hours a week. He also stated no disciplinary action has been taken against the employees who did this.
View this post on Instagram
Hey everybody, This ticket order was sent into to me by two of my coworkers on October 22nd at the Breakfast Club- Cityscape. Apparently this was a hysterical joke about myself that everyone including management thought was ok because the two employees were “Only joking”. Now I’ve been called way worse in my life but if you know me, one thing I don’t do is tolerate disrespect. But my employer allowed me to disrespected and humiliated by my coworkers. Almost 4 weeks later no disciplinary action has been taken against the two employees. Furthermore, since this has taken place not only myself but other black employees hours have been reduced and they have not let us serve as waiters. For future references please be mindful of the companies that you support!
The racist incident is gaining more attention and reactions from civil rights activists.
Reverend Jarrett Maupin led protests Tuesday morning calling for the firing of the employee, reports 12 News. The restaurant's CEO, Ernie Vega, came out to discuss the issue with Maupin. Vega said the incident was handled internally and he’d rather his employees gain insight than be fired.
“That person has been notified that if it ever happens again they would be terminated," Vega said. "We care about people but we also don't want to just write people off who made a bad choice at one point in time."
He added that he does not condone what was written on the ticket.
"We think that was a horrible thing done by an employee. There was disciplinary action for two employees both verbally and in writing," he said.