Vahl says he was in a group of 18 people, both children and adults, when a host asked him about his ethnicity. Later, a manager asked the group to move because a regular customer didn’t want to sit near black people. After several managers tried to move the group, Vahl says they left for another restaurant. …
Buffalo Wild Wings spokeswoman Claire Kudlata said in a statement early Monday that the company takes the incident “very seriously” and the employees involved were fired.
“We take this incident very seriously and after conducting a thorough, internal investigation have terminated the employees involved,” Kudlata said. “Buffalo Wild Wings values an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”
Bravo to this employer for how it has handled this horrible situation. As one federal court explains, “It is now widely accepted that a company’s desire to cater to the perceived racial preferences of its customers is not a defense under Title VII for treating employees differently based on race.”
Avoid the trap of acting on a mistaken belief that customers are permitted to deal only with like-skinned employees.
Simply, a customer never gets a racial preference. The customer might be right about a lot things, but discrimination is not one of them.