A New Jersey deaf woman is suing Taco Bell for discrimination. The woman tried to order at the fast-food chain for two different occasions; her request was never served, and she received mistreatments from Taco Bell’s employees.
Gina Cirrincione, from Atlantic City, a deaf woman who primarily communicates in sign language, is suing Taco Bell over its drive-thru system. According to Cirrincione, the drive-thru windows at Taco Bell’s restaurants are inaccessible to deaf.
Cirrincione was allegedly the victim of customer mistreatment when she visited different Taco Bell locations in two separate opportunities. In both occasions, Cirrincione tried to order by handing employees her order written on a piece of paper.
The first incident occurred on January 11 in Pleasantville. Cirrincione went to a Taco Bell’s drive-thru pickup window and wrote her order on a piece of paper. Her request was not completed, and when addressing to the restaurant’s manager, she was rebuked by him and told she wouldn’t be served.
The second time took place on March 15. Cirrincione wrote her order on a piece of paper again and handed it to a drive-thru employee at a Taco Bell restaurant in Atlantic City. The employee returned the note and shut the window down without the order or explanation. Cirrincione then went inside the restaurant, and she was ignored by the entire Taco Bell’s crew.
According to a Taco Bell spokeswoman, Laura Nedbal, the fast-food franchise has not yet received the lawsuit.
“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,” wrote Nedbal in a statement released on Friday.
Taco Bell must accommodate all customers
The federal lawsuit claims that Taco Bell’s drive-thru system has been designed for customers to hear and speak, which means that the system is an obvious violation of deaf people conditions. The Americans With Disabilities Act urges that business must be able to serve special needs customers.
Even in small firms, employees need to be able to serve clients with any condition, even more strongly, if it is a big food brand like Taco Bell, with several employees in charge, different subsidiaries and all kind of customers.
Managers and Employees working in big business have to keep in mind that not all customers will have the same profile and more important, those in customer service need to be trained and have a clear process for handling every situation.
With the lawsuit, Cirrincione is demanding the franchise to develop a policy in which the needs of deaf customers will be considered and appropriately treated. Employees’ training about the rights of deaf customers is also included in the lawsuit. The plaintiff is likewise seeking punitive and compensatory damages.
Attorney, Eric Baum, of The Eisenberg & Baum Law Center For The Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who is also representing Cirrincione, stated that nowadays Taco Bell has no excuse, with the technology and the sophistication the fast-food chain runs at its facilities, for not having drive-thru systems accessible for all kind of customers.