A man who is deaf was apparently refused service at a Taco Bell drive-thru recently after trying to place an order with the aid of his cellphone.
The incident was captured on video by the man’s girlfriend, who was in the passenger seat. It occurred at a restaurant in Kettering, Ohio, on New Year’s Eve, NBC reported.
The footage shows a man identified as Brandon Washburn presenting his phone to the drive-thru window. The clerk then hands back a piece of paper.
“It’s against company policy. I can’t do it,” the employee said and closed the window.
As Washburn continued to present his phone, the employee said he would call 911 if the man didn’t move his car. The employee is later shown placing a phone call.
Washburn’s mother, Becky Rosemont Burch, posted the video on Facebook on Jan. 2, saying her son was trying to show the worker what he wanted to order.
“This is my deaf son getting discriminated against in the Taco Bell drive-thru on Dorothy Ln. in Kettering,” she said. “He was trying to show them his order and they told him it was against company policy to take his order that way. Really?? Pretty sure the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) would say otherwise. Uneducated people.”
WHIO7 reported that the police showed up, and an officer offered to enter the restaurant and place the order for Washburn, which he refused.
In a statement to NBC News, Taco Bell said the employee involved is no longer with the company and that other employees at the location would be retrained.
“Taco Bell has a fundamental policy to respect all of our customers and employees, and we are committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or harassment,” the statement said.
Through his mother, Washburn told WHIO7 that he hopes it’s the last time something like this takes place.
“It just happens so much — not just to me, but to other deaf people all over,” he said.