Trying to decide the topic for my first blog post this week was a little challenging. As I searched for inspiration, my mind couldn’t help but wander to an article I read this weekend on PR Daily. It is a topic I plan on discussing in my Ethics class this week.
A Red Lobster in Franklin, Tenn. suspended a server for posting a photo of a customer’s receipt with a racial slur on Facebook this week. According to the article, the customer wrote “none” on the receipt’s line for tip and the n-word on the line for total. The waitress, who is black, showed a picture of the receipt to her father, who later posted it to Facebook. In the original image, the customer’s name is easy to make out. The waitress was suspended without pay. A Red Lobster spokesman said the suspension was “standard procedure” for employees who break company policy by doing things like posting pictures of customers’ receipts on social media networks. He also said the customer’s use of a racial slur was “completely disgusting,“ that it has no place in the restaurant or anywhere else and they plan to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible.
What we don’t know is how long she was suspended for or if her suspension was really much of a suspension at all. In the article, the spokesman states that her suspension hasn’t actually caused her to miss any days of work and she’s scheduled to work a normal schedule next week. The only way I could see her not actually missing any days of work is if she was only suspended on the days she has off.
Should the company have suspended the waitress for violating company policy? Or should she have be given a less harsh punishment? The server could have argued that she didn’t know the company policy, though I don’t think that would have made much of a difference. While I feel sorry she was subject to such ignorance, the bottom line is she violated Red Lobster’s policy and her/her father’s actions could potentially put the company at risk of being sued by the customer.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments! To read the full story, visit PR Daily.