Worker fired after racist joke on co-worker


Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 11/15/2019, 12:18 p.m.
A downtown Phoenix restaurant has fired one...

A downtown Phoenix restaurant has fired one of its employees who was accused earlier this week of using a racial slur last month that was written on a ticket order, the business confirmed Thursday afternoon to AzCentral.com.

Rakevion White, a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University who is Black, publicly talked about the Oct. 22 incident Tuesday on his Facebook page. He said that while working at the Breakfast Club at 2 E. Jefferson St. in Phoenix, one employee typed a racial slur on a ticket for an order that he was picking up while another employee laughed when he brought it to their attention.

The business publicly apologized Wednesday and explained that both employees were issued verbal and written warnings. Breakfast Club Chief Executive Officer Kyle Shivers and Chief Operating Officer Ernie Vega also told the Arizona Republic on Wednesday the employees would not be fired. However, the business announced in a statement Thursday that the five-year employee who typed the racial slur was fired because “the only way to ensure that Breakfast Club has a zero-tolerance against discrimination is to take strong public action when discrimination occurs.”

Restaurant officials previously explained that the employee typed the slur as a joke and meant it in place of his own name on the ticket order. White, however, said he believes it was meant to offend him. “Today, we terminated the employee who, in what he described as a joke, substituted a racial slur for his own name when putting in his own lunch order,” the statement says. “As we said previously, this was not a joke, even if the slur was not directed at a guest or a fellow worker. It was crude, insensitive and deeply hurtful. It was an extremely serious breach of how we expect Breakfast Club employees to treat each other and our guests.” The employees were not identified.