Becky Rosemont Burch shared a now-viral video to her Facebook page on Jan. 2, showing her son, Brandon Washburn, attempting to order and communicate with employees by writing his order on his phone. The employees, however, refused to look at his phone.
“It’s against company policy,” one worker said before shutting the drive-thru window and walking away.
When the employee came back, he threatened to call the police.
Washburn, 25, has reportedly visited the Taco Bell in the past and used his phone to order without any problems, WHIO-TV reports.
According to KSLA-TV, the fast-food restaurant has a sign in its drive-thru lane that instructs customers with disabilities or hearing impairments to pull ahead to a window for assistance. But, when he did, Burch said the employees would not take her son’s order and also made fun of him.
WHIO reports Washburn refused to move his vehicle and police were called. Once officers arrived they offered to go inside and get food for him, but Washburn reportedly decided to go to a different restaurant instead.
His girlfriend, who is also deaf, was with him at the time and recorded the video.
It broke my heart because to me he’s a person just like anyone else. He just communicates differently,” Burch told KSLA.
In a statement, Taco Bell said employees at the restaurant would undergo training regarding the company’s policies again but the worker in question has been fired.
“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,” the statement read. “The franchise owner and operator of this location has investigated the situation and the team member no longer works for their organization.”
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