Taco Bell Manager Says She Was Fired For Hiring Latinos

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So many things wrong with this: a Taco Bell has filed a suit against her store, alleging that she was fired for hiring Latino workers. Juanita O’Connell, a 60-year-old employee who is of Mexican descent herself, has worked at the company since 1987.

According to ThinkProgress.org, she filed a complaint against in her district court in Indianapolis stating that her operations leader, Mark Lewis, told her not to hire Hispanics. After seeing a Hispanic employee while visiting her store, he allegedly stated: “Didn’t I tell you not to hire Hispanics?” O’Connell has provided a witness who heard the statement.

Two weeks later, O’Connell states that she was given a disciplinary warning “after asking [her] misleading questions about her operation,” the complaint states. Three hours later, she was fired for “violating” manager code and having an I-9 violation.

O’Connell isn’t asking much: “whatever she’s entitled to under the law,” including lost wages and benefits, attorney and litigation costs, and any other relief that is deemed reasonable.

It’s obviously ironic that a fast food place known for serving a (bastardized) version of Mexican food is so against having Hispanic employees. Perhaps they’re afraid they’d add a bit of authenticity or sabor to the dishes? Or point out that there’s no such thing as a Mexican pizza? Yo quiero tostadas, you guys.

(Side note: We wonder if they fired the Chihuahua because he was Mexican, too?)

Seriously though, this is shameful. Taco Bell has told ThinkProgress: “While we haven’t been served with the complaint, these are very serious allegations and if true, are not a reflection of our culture or standards. We’ve launched an investigation to get the facts.” We'll wait on hitting that drive-through until then, Taco Bell...

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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