According to station KXTV News 10, a group of McDonald’s patrons were asked to leave from an Elk Grove, California location on Jan. 3, 2014. This group of people happened to be mentally or intellectually disabled, and it is causing quite a stir.
What Really Happened in the Elk Grove, CA McDonald’s?
Constance Gastinell, a person that works with intellectually disabled clients, says that the McDonald’s owner came up to them and asked them to leave because they were “conducting business”.
Constance Gastinell found this reason odd. She told the news station: “We weren’t conducting business. We came in to eat. We had no paperwork; we had money to buy.”
Constance believes that they were kicked out because her group of adults are considered intellectually disabled. She told the news station: “They’re people like we’re people, so they shouldn’t be discriminated against.”
The program that Constance Gastinell is part of, works to get mentally disabled individuals integrated back into the community.
McDonald’s Store Owners Issue a Statement
In response to the news story ran on this McDonald’s, the store owners Dennis and Vicki Caldwell said, “This recent situation involved a food fight within their group, and a disruption to our other guests…”
Constance refutes the statement by the owners that there was a food fight. Constance says that her group was very well behaved, and that no food fight ever took place, and they were not disruptive in any way.
After all of this, Constance felt like her group of mentally disabled individuals was targeted for their disability, and feels discriminated against.
Author comment: As a former employee of McDonald’s for one summer, I know that McDonald’s stores will hire mentally disabled people to be part of the team and help with specific tasks within a store. It is very possible that this is an isolated case involving the owners of this one store, and does not represent McDonald’s as a whole.
Just Don’t Complain About the Biscuits…
On Nov. 30, 2011, Amber Gilleylen complained in the St. Ann, MO McDonald’s that her biscuits were not fresh to which McDonald’s employee, Tonya Wesley, then made the comment: “The white chick has a problem with her biscuits.”
Tonya Wesley was then backed by her store manager, Pardeep Roe, by offering to give Amber Gilleylen a refund for her food, but refused to give her more food “for free”.
Amber Gilleylen then sued Tonya Wesley after claiming that Tonya also threatened her with bodily harm. The lawsuit claims that the defendants refused to serve her based on her color, race, and sex.
The outcome of this lawsuit has not been posted yet.