An employee at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in California claims she was sent home from work for speaking Spanish.
Sara Hernandez told KTXL News that her manager sent her home Monday for having a conversation in Spanish with a co-worker at the Modesto, California, eatery.
Hernandez said her manager told her she was being “defiant.”
“‘Why am I getting sent home?’ And she said, ‘the language,’” Hernandez told KTXL, recounting the alleged exchange with her manager. “And I said, ‘What about my language?’ She said ‘Spanish. You speaking Spanish.’”
Hernandez later took to social media to tell her story.
“CBC’s youth leader Sara was sent home today for speaking Spanish at her workplace, Texas Roadhouse. Seeing one of our youth leaders experiencing this kind of discrimination is UNACCEPTABLE,” reads a post, accompanied by a photo of Hernandez, on the Congregations Building Community Facebook page.
The post has since been shared over 1,100 times.
Hernandez said she shared her story in the hope that what happened to her won’t happen to anyone else.
“I want people to treated equally,” she said.
But Texas Roadhouse maintains it is an equal opportunity employer.
The company told KTXL that they “celebrate the diverse range of languages spoken by their employees," adding that “[Hernandez] was sent home with pay after she was repeatedly asked to stop socializing and to focus on the restaurant’s guests.”
“This is not a language issue; this is a job performance issue,” the company stated.
According to the restaurant, Hernandez is still an employee there.
Hernandez told KTXL that the employee with whom she was speaking in Spanish was not sent home.