You know, I’m not gonna lie. The fact that this story went down in an Applebee’s in New Jersey just makes all the sense in the world.
NBC News reports that Amanda Breaud has filed a lawsuit against an Applebee’s in Middleton, N.J. She worked there as a supervisor and believed she was fired after an incident in May of last year that resulted in her kicking out customers who were making Islamophobic comments. The comments were brought to Breaud’s attention after numerous customers approached her expressing their discomfort. The customers were loudly saying things like, “Muslim people are disgusting,” “Most of them are terrorists,” and “If it were up to me none of those motherfuckers would be in this country.” Pretty sure this is the kind of person who also says they’re a true patriot who doesn’t have a racist bone in their body.
Breaud confronted the customer as well as the bartender who was joining in on the comments. After a rather loud disagreement, the customer left and other customers thanked Breaud for her handling of the situation. Apparently, the general manager and senior manager weren’t too thrilled as they immediately were hostile towards her after the incident. The senior manager, it should be noted, once said “Well this is one less black guy we have to worry about,” when the uncle of a black co-worker died. He also called an employee an ableist slur in front of customers. So you know, solid people we’re dealing with here.
The general manager called Breaud that evening and told her that she should have moved the offended customers and that she didn’t have any authority to stop them from talking about “religion.” Due to the hostility, Breaud asked for a transfer and was denied and was scheduled to work three days at the Middleton location. Breaud refused the schedule change and was fired on May 23 “due to a false and retaliatory accusation that she had not appeared for one of her shifts,” according to the lawsuit she filed.
Breaud has filed her lawsuit against the general manager, senior manager, bartender and Doherty Management Services, the franchisee of the location. She’s seeking her job back, back pay, benefits and she wants the defendants to take anti-discrimination training, anti-harassment and anti-retaliation training.
It’s amazing that Breaud came under fire and not the employee willingly engaging in Islamophobic rhetoric with customers—rhetoric that made multiple customers uncomfortable. Also, the fact that the general manager found this to just be “religious” talk is something. I’m really curious about what his reaction would be if they were talking all this mess about Christians. I don’t think this situation would be going down the same way. Here’s hoping that doing the right thing will pay off for Breaud.