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View Diary: Red Lobster waitress suspended over racist receipt (435 comments)

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  •  That part is HER fault. (18+ / 0-)

    If she is fired, she gave the racist the win.  

    Regardless of how offensive the writing on the receipt was (and it clearly was offensive) she had no right to post a picture of it online.  That part is her fault.  And THAT'S what she apparently is being disciplined for.  

    Her wrongdoing against the company she worked for -- which is what this was, a violation of THE COMPANY'S rules, a decision on her part to post THE COMPANY'S document on the web -- cannot be justified by the fact that someone else committed a horrible wrong against her.  

      •  Her manager supported her. (21+ / 0-)

        That's as it should have been.  

        She should have handled it in the company -- where they SUPPORTED her.  She could have asked that the customer be banned, for example.

        By posting it online, she wronged her employer.  If someone sees this and retaliates against racist customer, maybe vandalizing his home, guess what -- racist employer is going to sue the company because it's THEIR business record that was posted on line.  

      •  I <3 Blogosphere (8+ / 0-)

        Actual facts about how laws work causes a sad = dick comment to insult the overall character and progressive bona fides of the lawyer that stated said facts because SAD PANDA IS FUCKING SAD AND BECUZ RACISTS!!!1!!!!!

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:40:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The world we live in (11+ / 0-)

        I am a loud and proud socialist

        Unfortunately, I don't live in a socialist country - I live here in the good Ol' USofA!

        I have to play the game as it is - not the game that I want to play

        The waitress was wronged - no one is arguing that

        Her choices after that were her's to make - her FB post then made it about her and Darden Restaurants rather than the racist who wrote it in the first place rather than allowing Darden itself to deal with this in an "appropriate manner"

        Unless You already don't like Your employer for whatever reason - then it isn't unreasonable for that company to ask its employees to be able to respond to the public instead of having any / all of its employees respond when and where and what ever matter they like

        THAT is the world we live in - Don't like it? ... Great, nor do I -- but telling someone that is pointing out the reality of the situation that they are a "company man" simply what the commenter did is ... disingenuous at best!

        "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

        by josephk on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:54:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Coffeetalk , however, routinely spouts the (17+ / 0-)

          authoritarian line.  "These are the rule and therefore the person has no one to blame but themselves."  

          Sometimes, rules should be broken.

          So here's the deal:

          The person who wrote the racist tweet had the legal, but not them moral, right to write it.

          The waitress had the legal and moral right to post it.

          The company had the legal but not the moral right to fire or suspend her for violating company policy.

          We have the legal and the moral right to be outraged at the company and choose to rant and/or boycott about it, and try to get these companies to get their heads out of their asses when an employee violates a relatively unimportant company policy when facing such an outrageous situation.

          Coffeetalk, otoh, is of the opinion that an employee is bound to comply with a company's policy, regardless of what that policy is or how negatively it might affect the employee.  That is, indeed, being a "company man".

          •  I don't work for Darden Restaurant's (4+ / 0-)

            I do, however, have an employer that I do like

            I used to own my own business and had employees - and You know what? ... I, as an employer, would have liked 'first crack' at dealing with this rather than have my employee run off and deal with it themselves

            There is no way for this to turn out for Darden to look good - the employee put Darden into a no win situation - and I mean from a 'business' POV - again - THAT is the world / country we live in

            If shit like this happened to me at my current employers - I can guarantee You that a) I wouldn't deal with it on my own and b) My employer would sure as hell make sure this was dealt with -

            again - I like my employer - if the waitress doesn't like hers, then so be it ...

            Does Darden suck? ... maybe - I don't know, I don't go to any of their restaurants ... but the employee didn't really leave them much room to maneuver irrespective of whether one thinks it 'moral' or not - their decision to suspend the employee was a business decision - my employer would probably do the same to me (in fact, I can all but guarantee they would) no matter whether they wanted to have the high moral ground on this or not ...

            "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

            by josephk on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:45:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Moreover (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, gustynpip, Shotput8, Matt Z, Smoh

            he/she has never once, to my knowledge, weighed in on subjects concerning minority victimization. He/she CANNOT HELP weigh in to cast doubt on whether a minority victim has merit to their claims.

            •  Let's break out the pitchforks!! Get her!! (4+ / 0-)

              Or maybe talk about the case and not obsess over the qualities of the people talking about it?

              •  You don't think the question of whether someone (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil, Shotput8, Matt Z, Smoh, mrblifil

                is bringing preconceived ideas or has some bias is relevant in a discussion?  I don't believe pointing out those facts is quite bringing out the pitchforks.  But if you enjoying inserting some drama into the subject, you go for it.

                •  It's an ad hom issue (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Justanothernyer, VClib

                  Unless it's a troll - and coffeetalk isn't a troll - when the topic has become whether someone else belongs in your little club of special snowflakes or that person's perceived biases, you've crossed into ad hom territory.

                  •  No. It's bringing out facts. Might be facts (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mrblifil

                    that a poster would rather not be brought out.  But pointing out a poster's prior stances and opinions is definitely not an ad hom attack.  I'll grant you, the tone used in the post you initially responded to was a bit dramatic and leaning towards the personal rather than factual, but that still doesn't make it rise to the level of an attack.  

                    •  Disagree (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      denise b, sewaneepat, VClib

                      The whole point is to avoid discussions that revolve around whether Darmok or Coffeetalk or Gustynpip is or isn't a progressive or a racist or a buffoon based on whatever, including one's interpretation comments and diaries.  That's a discussion about that person, i.e., an ad hominem.  It's really just one tiny step removed from accusing someone of being a shill.

                •  You don't see the difference (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Villanova Rhodes, VClib

                  between an attorney giving us a professional perspective on an issue with legal implications and "bias"?

                  Are you serious?

                  If you're not interested, skip over her comments. Some of us actually do appreciate learning how lawyers look at things. It's not like there aren't hundreds of people agreeing with you, if that's what you want to read.

                  •  It's not a legal issue and the effort to gloss it (0+ / 0-)

                    into one is done simply to add illegitimate weight to her opinion.  No one is claiming Red Lobster didn't have the legal right to punish the waitress. And if you think attorneys can't have a bias in presenting their views of a legal issue, think again.  

                    •  What opinion? (0+ / 0-)

                      What bias?

                      1) All companies have policies about use of customer and other data to protect themselves from being sued, among other reasons. These policies are sound and necessary.

                      2) Companies can't be capricious about how they enforce their policies. Among other problems, they'd be open to lawsuits from employees if they were.

                      3). We don't know at this point who actually wrote what on the receipt.

                      4) The company was not at fault for the customer's actions. Her manager was supportive.

                      5) In an attempt to punish the customer, she is potentially harming her employer.

                      Which of these points do you think is opinion or biased? I don't think any of them are. I think they are straightforward statements of fact.

            •  You're awfully certain of the content (5+ / 0-)

              of coffeetalk's comments for someone who doesn't even know that coffeetalk's a woman. She has said so frequently.

              BTW, her response was virtually identical when the crappy tipper/receipt messager was a black woman, here: Comment re Applebee's.

              coffeetalk regularly posts accurate legal analyses. She also posts from a perspective that is tilted toward owners & management more than to labor -- and discloses appropriately.  She is obviously more conservative than most here, myself included. But your not very veiled allegations of racism in this diary are uncalled for and probably HRable. Presumably she will ignore them as she generally does, but that doesn't make them less obnoxious.

              •  Ummm. You DO realize that women are (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil, Shotput8, Matt Z, StrayCat, Smoh

                considered a minority, do you not?  Using the term mnority does not necessarily relate to race.

                I'm definitely laughing out loud at the idea that readers of this blog keep track of the sex of various posters.  

                •  I am responding SPECIFICALLY to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Darmok, VClib, VetGrl

                  a commenter who also said this:

                  Ladeez and gentle forks, our resident devil's advocate, always working hard to preserve white prerogatives.
                  Anyone who has analyzed another kossack's comments enough to distill what she has and has not commented about, from what perspective, with what conclusion, and that she's working to "preserve white prerogatives" -- yet has not picked up a frequently repeated fact about that kossack, is, at best, not credible. Tossing in "to my knowledge" doesn't fix it.

                  But laughing out loud is always good, so I'm glad about that. You might also be amused to learn that I've picked up on the fact that some people here are (i.e., are presenting here as) gay or straight.

                  Nice distraction from the point of my comment, though. Do you agree that coffeetalk is here to "preserve white prerogatives" or not?

                  •  Do I actually have to agree to something that (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tonedevil, Smoh, Vetwife

                    was not even contained in any part of the thread to have made the points I made?  I'm sorry I'm not going to play that game with you.  I'll just leave the comment about "presenting here" as gay or straight since I have absolutely no clue what you even mean.  

                    •  OK, I'll help you out. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VClib, VetGrl

                      I do not actually know if people here who say they are gay are gay (Hi, Nephew!) and I do not know if coffeetalk is actually female, because I have not met coffeetalk. I do know that coffeetalk has repeatedly said she is a woman and a mother, and therefore the "person who is posting as coffeetalk" is "presenting as female." That is generally enough here to allow folks to drop the he/she and him/her, without actually vouching for the person's gender. A similar dynamic occurs with those who repeatedly identify as gay, or white, or anarchosyndicalist or whatever. Once the persona is established, we act accordingly until contrary evidence is presented.

                      Not defending mrblifil's conclusions further after jumping in to do so once is probably a wise choice, given some of the comments posted in the interim. As my original comment was not directed to you, I'm delighted to not pursue the matter with you.

                •  gusty - coffeetalk lists her gender in her (0+ / 0-)

                  DKOS profile, it's just a click away.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:20:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  He/she (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Villanova Rhodes, Tonedevil

                That's how I stated it. How does that qualify as "certain?" I'm acknowledging I have no knowledge of the user's gender, nor would I necessarily take on faith the professed gender of any anonymous user, regardless of our points of agreement or disagreement.

                If you feel my comments violate site rules, feel free to alert the media. I think I'm entitled to my observations, and what's more I've shared links to demonstrate that at the very least, on racial matters, a certain sensitivity is lacking.

                I make no veiled allegations. In my opinion coffeetalk is insufficiently sensitive on the subject of minority rights, based on my readings of this user's output on the subject as I have encountered him/her. If you feel there is not a sensitivity issue that's your row to hoe, we have a difference of opinion. However I'm happy to report that in my case it would never occur to me to even hint (in veiled language or otherwise), on the basis of our disagreement, that I might have to report you to side administration.

                •  I appreciate the civility of the reply, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib, VetGrl

                  although I think you misunderstood my comment. I'm too tired to clear it up at this point. Moreover, since more objectionable allegations were later made by others, it might be churlish to pursue this one. Apparently, there's a way to interpret "always working hard to preserve white prerogatives" as meaning "insufficiently sensitive." It escapes me at this hour, but I take you at your word.

                  With rare exceptions (e.g., sockpuppetry) I think moderation and discussion of differences should be public, so I would not dream of "reporting you" for the issue I mentioned. I think it was close to the line, and said so. I'm well aware of where the sympathies lie here, so expected no more to come of it.

                  Any reference to classic lines from Arthur gets a rec, though. Good night.

              •  She's obviously more conservative? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                It's not obvious to me - I have yet to hear her express anything at all that I could use to conclude what her political inclinations are. She sticks to legal analysis. And it is a source of continual amazement to me how many people here find that intolerable.

                Her giving us management's perspective on an issue doesn't mean her sympathies are on their side. A lawyer can present either or both sides, and her personal sympathies shouldn't enter into it.

                •  I tend to be a defender of (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk, VClib, Tonedevil, VetGrl

                  coffeetalk more often than not, so I find your comment a bit odd, but ok. Fair enough that you don't find it obvious that she's more conservative than most on the site. Perhaps I should have said it's obvious to me from having read many of her comments in many diaries that the persona she adopts here -- which may or may not reflect her true beliefs but is all I've got to go on -- is at least no farther left than the middle of the road, and that she wants to hear intelligent discussion from both sides of issues. I could cite you multiple comments to that effect. She is a fan (at least watcher) of Morning Joe but not of the prime time programs of either Fox or MSNBC, for example. Finds Hardball to be pitched far to the partisan left, which would surely be news to the administration, among others.

                  It's possible that she just values civility and reasoned debate over all and secretly holds leftist views, but it doesn't sound like that when she's speaking as a partner/owner/manager/employer, not just as legal analyst. I'm not saying she's a right-winger, or even a Republican -- I have no idea -- but I'm hard pressed to think of a regular poster here who is as consistently ... well, not liberal. I don't think that's an insult, and frankly, I'd be surprised if she disagreed with my characterization of where she falls on the spectrum on this site. But if she does, I'll happily apologize to her.

                  As a fellow lawyer, I regularly agree with her legal analyses, although I don't always delve into an issue enough to reach or express a conclusion. And I think the critique of her analysis in this thread as lacking empathy, when her first comment contained seven different acknowledgments of the wrongness of the putative offense to the server, was a cheap shot that entirely missed the mark, predictable recs notwithstanding.

                  I have elsewhere argued, and won't belabor here, that some of the dispassionate analysis of the Zimmerman case -- by coffeetalk but more by some others -- was occasionally (esp late trial/posstrial) tone deaf and insensitive in its timing, location, and relentlessness. It is unfortunate that others have used that to associate her with some now-banned creeps, and paint her explicitly or implicitly with the racism brush in an apparent effort to marginalize or silence her. It doesn't seem to bother her which, intentionally or not, just pisses off her detractors more. They desperately want her to actually say something HRable so they can run her out of town, and it's just killing them that she doesn't. I find this alternately amusing and disgusting, but if you read in my comment some criticism of coffeetalk, you read it wrong.

                •  I disagree with your assessment. What she (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  does is attempt to cloak her opinions in legal language in order to give her opinions more weight.  This issue, for example, is not a legal issue; it's a moral one.  She attempts to cloak it in legality by speaking vaguely of potential liability.  There however is no potential liability, short of the waitress having written this on the receipt herself.  When pressed, she's unable to come up with any cause of action that might accrue against Red Lobster.  There's virtually no legal analysis involved in any of her posts, excepting pointing out the obligation of the waitress to comply with company policy.  

          •  gusty - I imagine that coffeetalk routinely (4+ / 0-)

            offers advice to employers regarding these issues and is providing come context regarding how Red Lobster may deal with this situation. The remarks on the receipt were reprehensible, but we don't know for sure who wrote them and there is no justification for posting them on the Internet. That showed extremely poor judgement by the employee and violated company policy.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:12:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's your opinion; it's not mine. I see (12+ / 0-)

              nothing objectionable in her having posted it.  It damaged Red Lobster not one whit.  I value common sense and common decency over rules, including even "company policy", which you and coffeetalk seem to consider just a step below the Constitution.  

              There's a good chance coffeetalk does indeed work with companies like Red Lobster and therefore identifies more closely with them than with waitresses and has more concern for their wellbeing than for the wellbing of their employees.  I'm not certain how that changes anything.

              The idea that the waitress wrote this herself is so silly that it doesn't even deserve a response.  

              •  That's all beside the point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                Whoever the receipt is from can sue Red Lobster.  The only defense Red Lobster has is to make a show that posting receipts is against company policy.

                VCLib and coffeetalk are lawyers as far as I know and they are commenting on the realities of the law here.

                Any of us would get fired for doing what she did.  If she didn't know that before, now she does.  But she didn't really lose much of anything here, so fine, she did what she chose to do, and she paid the little price.  Good for her.  I'm guessing her future's bright.

                Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                by yet another liberal on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:25:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What are they going to sue for? There has to (4+ / 0-)

                  actually be a cause of action, together with damages, for a lawsuit.  What is the cause of action here?  That's a red herring thrown in to justify bad behavior.

                  Both VCLib and coffeetalk are doing much more than commenting on the realities of the law.  They're giving their own personal opinions and then trying to use their professional knowledge as support for those opinions.  They're not providing any legal basis for their opinions at all, but are writing in a way that lends itself to the interpretation that their opinions are based upon the law.

                  •  This comment (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kentucky Kid

                    Here, http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    According to that, it isn't just the possibility of a lawsuit from the racist jackass, but action from the credit card company.

                    I find that scenario very realistic.

                    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                    by yet another liberal on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:45:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's also a bunch of hogwash. (5+ / 0-)

                      Still haven't provided the cause of action the racist would have, which thus far has constituted the "legal" risk the company is put in.

                      •  I'll add why that comment is a bunch of hogwash, (6+ / 0-)

                        since that was a very conclusory comment.

                        Companies who accept credit cards are required to have certain procedures in place to ensure the protection of the credit card information or face having to pay some additional fees each month.  

                        However, that responsibility is for the entire account number.  

                        No company has any responsibility for what happens to with the information that's contained on a receipt.  That information is available to anyone and everyone who sees or handles that receipt.  If the customer drops it in the trash and I pull it out - I have that information.  If they accidentally drop it - I have the information.  That information is limited and without considerably more, it provides nothing usable to anyone.

                  •  Let me give you examples of lawsuits. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, Justanothernyer, Sparhawk, Pi Li

                    1.  Mr. Customer's house gets vandalized with a sign that says "racist," or in some way that makes it pretty obvious that it is done by someone angered by seeing this on the internet.  Mr. Customer will sue that Red Lobster, because they had a company policy not to do this, that he relied on the fact that they wouldn't post his credit card receipt on the internet when he went there, and that their posting the credit card receipt on the internet caused the vandalism.

                    2.  Hacker gets enough info from the credit card receipt and a (reproducible) copy of his signature to do some identity theft.  Red Lobster gets sued for posting the receipt on the internet.  

                    3. Customer says he did not write that on the receipt, but that Red Lobster (through this employee) posted this on the internet "publishing" the fact that he does this.  He's been harassed ever since.  That's a BIG, BIG, BIG lawsuit.  Suppose Customer is in a position where being called a racist ruins his career, and he gets fired?  Before Red Lobster exposes itself to that kind of risk by having its business record being posted on the internet, they are entitled AT LEAST to know the facts (did anyone actually see him write this?  where was the receipt left? ) so they can be absolutely sure that it was this Customer, and not some sick person with him, or not some other customer standing around, who wrote this on the receipt.  

                    Whether those are successful or not (and I can tell you that 1 and 2 would have a decent shot of success, and for 3 it would depend what proof each side has) they would cost Red Lobster a lot of money in attorney's fees and a lot of bad press, and they would likely settle to avoid the bad press, and pay more money.  

                    •  The only example there that has any (6+ / 0-)

                      legitimacy there is the third one.  The first two are fails.

                      The first because it's not the posting of the receipt online that caused this to happen, but his or her having written it.  And I don't see a jury being terribly impressed with the argument "I thought it was safe for me to racially insult my server since the company has a policy that my receipt can't be posted on the internet".  And if company policy would actually create a cause of action in this case (which I've never heard of), it's the company's fault for having the policy in the first place.  They eliminate the policy, they eliminate their liability.  And I'm sure you don't advise your clients to establish policies that actually create more risk for themselves.

                      The second is equally invalid.  People's signatures exist all over the place and anyone can get a copy of pretty much anyone's signature at any time.  You applied for a marriage license, your signature is on it and it's a public document.  You ever signed a complaint or filed a probate, your signature is on a public document, available to anyone.  People do not have an expectation of privacy in regard to their signatures.

                      The last one has some potential of liability, I'll agree.  I find it extremely unlikely that the waitress made this up and did it herself, but if that was the case, it would create liability.  So then Red Lobster should simply have a policy against employees writing on receipts. Firing her for that behavior would not, I believe, be objected to by anyone.  

                      If someone other than an employee of Red Lobster wrote it, however, the person who wrote it would have liability for any damages incurred, not Red Lobster.  What was posted on the internet was true and accurate.  There is not wrongful behavior on the part of Red Lobster or the employee.  What would be the cause of action?

                      See, that's the problem I'm having with your vague claims of liability.  There's not cause of action.  It's not enough that someone doesn't like what you do or even that someone suffers as a result of what you do.  That happens all the time and there's no liability.  There has to actually be a cause of action, and short of the defamation that the waitress having written this herself would create, you've failed to explain what cause of action would arise.

                      •  Im guessing you called out sick a few days (5+ / 0-)

                        at Law School

                        Examples 1 and 2 can easily happen and would create a SERIOUSLY strong case that Red Lobster would be scrambling to settle.  ..granted for #2 there would be a burden to prove that it came from the Red Lobster receipt but if there was anything like a taunting email message or something it would fly.  Easily.

                        The first because it's not the posting of the receipt online that caused this to happen, but his or her having written it.
                        is legally laughable.  Good luck on that argument counselor.
                        And I don't see a jury being terribly impressed with the argument
                        is an overstatement; more accurate would be that I don't think you see many juries.  Period.
                        They eliminate the policy, they eliminate their liability.
                        Would only be true if argued in the District Court of BIZARRO-WORLD.  WTF kind of Jedi Mind Trick jurisprudence is that based on?  Could that work in reverse?  Could a company eliminate any policy that would forbid employees from referring to any Hispanic customer as "Senor Wetback" and be lawsuit-proof?  Maybe I should have my corporation remove its written zero-tolerance policy on using company resources to access pornography on-line.  No formal policy, no liability, right?  So my secretary should just learn the look the other way on ANAL ASIAN MILF TUESDAYS, right?  Nothing she can complain about to management since this isn't something they regulate with their oppressive policy-making.

                        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                        by Wisper on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:49:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Really? Care to cite some cases to support (5+ / 0-)

                          your laughable theories?  

                          You've just proved my point that corporate policy doesn't create causes of action.  

                          Funny how even though you've lowered yourself to a third graders insulting language, you've still failed to come up with a cause of action.  

                          •  How long have you been practicing law? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justanothernyer, Pi Li, andalusi

                            I'm into my third decade.

                          •  And my penis is bigger than your penis. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Shotput8, Matt Z

                            If you're not able to support your argument, bragging about how long you've practice law won't strengthen it.

                          •  So you are not a lawyer. Now it makes sense. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Justanothernyer, Pi Li, andalusi

                            I know nothing about dentistry, so I would not argue with a dentist about dentistry.  Ditto architecture.  Ditto engineering.  If I did, I'd recognize that, in their area, they might have more experience than I do.  

                            When someone who has no legal training tells me "You're wrong" about the law, it's usually counterproductive to engage them, because they typically have little idea of what they are talking about -- no more than, say, if I were arguing with a dentist about dentistry.  

                            In other words, it is useless to argue the law with someone who has no understanding of the law.  So now that I know, I won't do it any further.  

                          •  Actually, coffeetalk, I am a lawyer. With nearly (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, newpioneer, StrayCat, bluezen

                            as much experience under my belt as you.  I simply don't think that fact means that I can spout nonsense and expect it to be taken at face value because I wave my JD and irrelevant experience in the face of others.

                            Your willingness to make an assumption that because I declined to answer your very silly question means I'm not an attorney makes me question your legal ability.  But then so has many of the claims you've made about potential liability, without once providing a legal cause of action that would accrue.  

                            To be honest, I'd have been embarrassed to admit how many years I've practiced law if I'd made such poor arguments as you have in this diary.  You've attempted to gloss your opinion with a facade of legality, when all it's ever been is your own personal opinion that this young woman had no moral, ethical, or legal basis for having posted this receipt and the company not only had the legal right to punish her, but the moral right.  You expect that simply because you're a lawyer, people should accept your opinion and your assertions, even though you've been unable to support those assertions in any way.  When called on it, you go into the personal attack.

                            Essentially, when you posted the question of how long I've practiced, I knew you knew you'd lost the argument.  You'd only resort to that kind of childish and pointless dick measuring when you had nothing of substance to argue with.

                            This is not a legal issue.  It's a moral and ethical one.  We all acknowledge Red Lobster had the legal right to punish her.  We simply believe they did not have the moral or ethical right to.  Trying to gloss your opinion on such an issue with your supposed expertise in the law simply reflects an incredible level of insecurity on the part of someone who's been practicing law for more than three decades.  You should, by now, be able to present a legitimate argument without having to resort to such means.

                          •  So, Customer now has a lawyer and he (0+ / 0-)

                            denies that he wrote the offensive word.

                            Still think Red Lobster has no chance of being sued because  this person's name was on a receipt with this racial slur that was posted all over the internet?  When the document was a Red Lobster business record, and picture posted on the internet was likely taken at Red Lobster while she was on the job?  

                            The customer might even accuse Red Lobster of being too lax about letting employees  post stuff like this, or accuse Red Lobster of being too lax in not enforcing their social media policy.  

                          •  What is the cause of action? You've (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            practiced law for more than 30 years.  You should at least be able to answer that question, but have not yet done so.

                          •  gusty I am sure your penis is bigger (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Pi Li, coffeetalk, andalusi

                            coffeetalk is a woman.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 05:24:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So am I. You might want to look up the word (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            metaphor.  

                      •  It's not an "either/or" situation (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pi Li

                        in any of those three instances, you've posited someone else that might be liable, as if that exonerates Red Lobster.  That is not the way the law works.  The law can find more than one party at fault.  If there are three parties who contributed to my harm, and I as a plaintiff can only find one of them, I can sue that one for the whole thing and then let HIM find the other two.  

                        If two people beat me up and a third is the driver of the car who brings them to me for the purpose of beating me up, and then speeds them away, and the only one of the three I know is the guy driving the car, in certain instances, I can sue the driver of the car for my WHOLE damages.  Let's say I'm damaged $100,000 in medicals, etc  Mr. Driver s a wrongdoer, and contributed to my harm, even though he didn't do as much as the other two guys. I sue Mr. Driver for the whole $100,000.   It's then up to Driver to find the other two guys have have them contributed to that $100,000 he paid me.  

                        Here, the fact that Red Lobster had a policy (as any sane business would) against making customer information like receipts published almost certainly makes them a target in a lawsuit if any harm comes to anyone as a result of this.  It may not make them AS culpable as someone else, but it clearly exposes them to liability.  Their actions in publishing this on the internet in violation of their own policies would clearly be used against them.  

                        The fact that others might ALSO be at fault does not exonerate Red Lobster for its fault in posting a receipt on the internet.  So, in a case where a house was vandalized in retaliation, Customer would sue both Red Lobster (for publishing this on the internet) and Guy Who Vandalized (if he can find him).  If Guy Who Vandalized has no money, Red Lobster pays the whole thing.  

                        As for the third scenario, if ANYBODY OTHER THAN THE CUSTOMER WHO SIGNED THIS wrote the words, then Red Lobster likely defamed the customer by posting this on the internet.  If another customer added this to the receipt, the Red Lobster defamed the signing customer by posting this blaming the signing customer for those words.  In that case, Red Lobster might be even MORE liable than the other customer, because the other customer had no reason to believe this would be published on the internet in violation of Red Lobster's policies .

                        •  Sorry, I did not posit that someone else would be (5+ / 0-)

                          liable.  I "posited" the fact that the cause of the injury would be the customer's own behavior, not the behavior of anyone else.  In order for Red Lobster to be liable, there has to be a cause of action.  There has to be some behavior that leads to legal liability.  You've failed to point out anything that would create legal liability.  There would have been no wrongdoing on the part of Red Lobster.

                          Here's a very simple example.  If I park my car and you run into it, you're going to be damaged.  If I parked it illegally, you might have a cause of action against me and receive some damages, even though you were at fault also for having run into a very visible car.  However, if I was parked legally, even though I took the action of parking, and had my car not been parked there, you'd have no cause of action, because I did nothing wrong.

                          There's no law against posting receipts or other information on the internet.

                          Again, you've failed to explain how Red Lobster having a policy creates a cause of action that would otherwise not exist.  Or why you would advise them to create a policy that would create liability for them that would not otherwise exist.

                          I understand you're a lawyer, but I have to question some of your legal reasoning.  The idea that if some unknown mystery "other customer" for some bizarre reason wrote this (never mind the difficulty in proving the how, when or why of that), their liability would be reduced by Red Lobster posting this because they have some kind of expectation of privacy for being racists on Red Lobster receipts is so weak, it's getting close to laughable.  

                          Whether someone else could or could not be held liable for damages does not mitigate the fact that there has to be a legal basis to hold Red Lobster liable.  You've failed to state any legal cause of action that would arise.  No matter how many words you write, until you've done that, you've failed in making your case.

                      •  And here's another example (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Darmok, Khun David, Pi Li

                        What if the WRONG PERSON is excoriated because of the receipt posted online.  

                        Say, like this.  

                        Do you think Mr. Wrong Guy will just sue this waitress without suing Red Lobster?  

                    •  Please see my previous response. (6+ / 0-)

                      None of these are plausible outcomes.

                      In order for anybody to identify the customer, somebody would have to somehow be able to decipher that signature, and I just don't see that happening.

                      The last four digits of a credit number do not constitute personally identifiable information, either. There is no computer program on earth that could track that customer down on the basis of that receipt, even if the image were sharper than what's posted here.

                      •  The point is not how plausible you or I (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sparhawk

                        think it is.  The point is that the party that is going to bear the risk gets to make that decision.  This is Red Lobster's business record, it is going to suffer any bad consequences as a result of this being published on the internet, so it gets to make the decision how "plausible" it is that a harm could result from this.  

                        •  Oh, Risk again. Jesus, we are all at risk even (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gustynpip, bluezen

                          while asleep, but very little of the risk of being alive is actionable.  Red Lobster isn't even alive and is more likely to be sued because of the terribly poor tasting food they serve.

                          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                          by StrayCat on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:55:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  so flawed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk

            of course she has a "legal right"... shes not facing JAIL TIME over it.  But she also has an obligation to the company she chooses to work for.  

            They can't do anything to her legal rights, freedoms, etc but they can do anything they want regarding her status as an employee on their payroll.

            This isn't some kind of oppressive fascist dictat... we all work for companies, or most of us do at least... we all follow rules.  We can break them whenever we want to, but not without the expectation that the company will probably have a negative opinion about that decision.

            And coffeetalk has not said a single thing to the contrary of this.  The company will now be forced to respond this much larger issue and the risks and liability to which they are exposed then the actions they were taking on behalf of their employee related to this incident (which... incidentally...DID NOT INCLUDE ANY KIND OF SUSPENSION OR DISCIPLINE)

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:34:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep, she had the legal right. And Red Lobster (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, Shotput8

              had the legal right to fire her.  And we have the legal right to object to that firing.  What's flawed about that?  I do believe you missed the point of the comment.  It's that all these rights exist, and everyone, including Red Lobster, will bear the consequences of their particular decision.  Those that criticize her and defend Red Lobster are esentially stating that she has to expect to bear the consequences of her actions, but there should be no consequences to Red Lobster for theirs.  

              •  The difference is that (0+ / 0-)

                as between the waitress and Red Lobster, the waitress violated the terms of the agreement between the two of them.  In any employment relationship, both sides have obligations, and she violated hers.

                 If Red Lobster takes action against her for that violation, they are acting in accordance with their agreement --  that if she violates the rules, there will be consequences.  That's part of the deal every employer and employee make.  

                As between the waitress and the customer, the customer is wrong.  As between the waitress and Red Lobster, the waitress is wrong.  

                •  No, in your opinion, the waitress is wrong. (5+ / 0-)

                  In my opinion, Red Lobster is wrong.  

                  In my opinion, Red Lobster could have and should have ignored this minor and understandable violation of their policy.  I now have the right to criticize them for not doing what I believe they should have done.  And you have the right to criticize the waitress for not putting the company's interests and rules ahead of her own.

                  The problem is, you're attempting to make it look as though this is a legal issue when it's not.  It's an ethical and moral one.  

            •  People break work rules on a daily basis, and they (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tennessee Dave, gustynpip

              don't get fired unless someone above them has it out for them.  Getting through a week of corporate employment without breaking a rule is like living for a week in Tennessee and not breaking a law.  Not possible.

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:58:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'd rec, cannot re 'waitress had legal right to (0+ / 0-)

            post it'.  Nope.  :o(

            Even though posted pic doesn't spell out

            Joe Asshole Racist III
            VISA 5555 5555 5555 5555
            staff cannot use business' property (customer cc slip) how they choose.  Staff especially cannot post for world to see on Teh Interwebz.  As a huge chain, I'm certain Darden has a "social media use" policy that prohibits what she did.  No Brainer.

            Customer is a racist asshole.

            And, yes, coffeetalk prefers the hard line in every venue I've seen.  Blech.

            As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

            by JVolvo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:10:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sometimes rules should be broken (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tennessee Dave

            The excuse Republicans use when they mass filibuster, change laws to prevent Navigators from doing their jobs, and the like.

            Batman's only a good guy when he's on your side.

            http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/ Jesus Loves You.

            by DAISHI on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:34:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is an obscenity at Daily Kos: Forty people (5+ / 0-)
        doroma, Chinton, wuod kwatch, Dancun74, mconvente, elwior, pasadena beggar, ssgbryan, merrywidow, JayBat, ichibon, XenuLives, varii, radmul, snoopydawg, I Lurked For Years, trumpeter, Hannibal, animal mother, brasilaaron, Lilith, peregrine kate, Pandoras Box, HeartlandLiberal, Tonedevil, flowerfarmer, ebbet, sasidechick, Norm in Chicago, stevenaxelrod, countwebb, gustynpip, suspiciousmind, mrblifil, one of 8, kefauver, Don Quixote, Spider Jerusalem, Tool, sngmama
        recommended this tasteless, merit-less, substance-less ad hom.
        A company man (40+ / 0-) 'til the bitter fucking end.

        Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

        by davidincleveland on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:30:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is uncalled for. As a small business owner (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quiet in NC

        I can tell you that the credit card companies have VERY strict privacy guidelines that we must follow for every charge we process.  We can be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from the government over credit card privacy concerns.  Seems a little ironic with all the spying they do, but that's the way it is.

      •  "Hired gun" is more accurate, I think. Bullshit HR (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, bluezen, gustynpip

        Lujane.

        As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

        by JVolvo on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Her fault for posting it and she's on full pay (6+ / 0-)

      Suspension for it. Being a fucking racist is not against the law and like I said......he is probably proud of himself. Relax....I was not refuting your post.....just stating how proud stupid racist probably is:)

    •  I wonder what the company would have done if... (36+ / 0-)

      the customer would have stiffed them?

      This waitress works for her tips and these jackasses robbed her of that in addition to creating a hostile work environment for her at her place of employment.  It does not appear that the company took any action towards the customers (i.e. barring them from returning).

      However, if they would have stiffed the restaurant of THEIR money, I bet this couple would be in jail right now.  

      It is okay to treat their poor staff like shit and deprive them of their earned gratuity but do not to touch one dollar of this multi-million dollar franchise's money or you will be locked up and justice will be served.

      Let's blame the waitress.  She should have had the good sense to keep her mouth shut and kept working like a good little ni**er should.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:24:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is common for the company (7+ / 0-)

        to charge the waitstaffer for unpaid tabs.  It may be reduced to 1/2, but still it is the waitstaffer, rather than the company that bears the cost.

        Socialist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        by Kimbeaux on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:41:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Huh... (0+ / 0-)

        A) This seems pretty much just venting at a theoretical situation.... I think....sort of....but,

        B) Paying the stated price for goods/services = required by law in every state.  Tipping (BY DEFINITION) = Optional at customer's discretion.  What "justice" would you like to see against people that do not tip?

        C) Use of the phrase "good little ni**er" seems a bit gratuitous.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:45:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma, Tonedevil, Shotput8

          A.) I guess it is theoretical since I said "I wonder" "If".  Is using theoretical situations to prove or rather suggest a point allowed?

          B.) I guess when I said, "(i.e. barring them from returning) didn't count as, "What "justice" would you like to see against people that do not tip?" since I put it in parenthesis? (NOTE: I did also say for creating a hostile work environment for their employee as opposed to just not tipping).

          C.)  I have always thought that if I have to spell out that something is sarcasm or snark, I'm doing it wrong so I guess I'm doing it wrong.  Blaming the wait staff after they have been accosted by giving them a suspension rather than standing up for them and saying that they do not want that type of customers to me says they are guilty of complicity by silence.  They expect her to just shut up and take it.  It didn't hurt them any, they got their money and the customer who wrote it not only didn't get in any trouble but got off cheap not having to tip but got the ni**er suspended to boot.  That to me says the only loser here was the victim, twice.  My entire point was that if it would have been the restaurant who had been injured, they would have made sure the customer never came back and would have been arrested as well (the law seems to protect the worthy business owners).

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:03:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck the company's rules, (13+ / 0-)

      what about rules of decency? The people who left that vile shit on that receipt should be identified on social media and publicly shamed and ostracized.

      Dum Spiro Spero - While I Breathe, I Hope (SC's state motto)

      by SCVeteran on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:02:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She probably was suspended for outing the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, doroma, pitbullgirl65

        racist Dan Reece.   That looks like the name of the receipt.
        Depending on which Red Lobster location..she pretty much called him out as a racist..which he is ..in his own handwriting.  Hey Reece...ain't nothing private in a digital world..  

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:47:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, what happens to the other (6+ / 0-)

          Dan Reeces who are subject to unjustified retaliation?  Do they deserve to be tarred with the same brush merely because they have the same name?  

          The name isn't 100% clear.  It could have been Don Reese.  What happens to all those Dan Reeses when Redditers collectively decide that they identified the name incorrectly, and A Don Reese was the actual racist.

          Sigline? What Sigline?

          by Khun David on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That isn't even close to the name of the customer. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, VetGrl

          The real guy is getting death threats as it is, but you encourage the same behavior against people unfortunate enough to match the name you think you saw in a lousy signature? This is appalling.

          Have you seen this story? Waitress exposes rude tipper online -- nabs wrong guy.

          •  it is all over the internet I didn't (0+ / 0-)

            out the guy name.. Just repeated what is happening and giving a logical explanation of why she was suspended.  
            the guy is clearly racist but are you so naive you don't think everyone from twitter to FB is not enlarging that signture?   Pulllllllllleze.  I didn't.. i didn't even try.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:20:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You don't think that paper receipt has (0+ / 0-)

            not been enlarged a million times all over?  How naive you are.  I just reported what was all ready all over the internet.  I gave a possible reason the waitress was suspended.   Puhleeeze.. I didn't make that name out and it wasn't what I saw in a receipt....i got other things to do..it was what was reported all over the internet and not DK.....

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:25:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It. Was. The. Wrong. Name. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VetGrl

              The real name is PRINTED on the receipt and clearly visible in other pictures of it, though fuzzy in this diary.

              If you read the name elsewhere, you republished a lie that slams as racist any number of people with that name -- several of whom live in the Tennessee area. Posting the name added nothing to the discussion. It was just gossip. But hey, it's totally fine because you read it somewhere else first. I wouldn't have thought you'd accept that excuse from your kids, but maybe you do.

              By the way, the guy says he didn't do it and has a lawyer hiring a handwriting expert. Something to consider if you're planning to throw around the real name now. Or not. Guilty until proven innocent (and then we won't mention it) is how we roll here.

              •  Well having lived in Tennessee, Florida, Ga and (0+ / 0-)

                Texas, there are enough racists to go around but you are quite funny.   I think you just come here to throw pie.Cow pie at that.  I read your comments and all you do is criticize and show your ability to stir the pot.  I merely made a comment and here you go off on a tangent about how I did this or I did that.  

                The truth is the people at the restaurant  and the victim know who signed it and it is highly publicized so not much chance of rumors or mistaken identity  given much credibility..  The people making a scene know who did this dispicable thing.  Racists know who they are.  So do people who live in these areas, know who racists are.  I could have said  Rumplestiltskin signed it and you would have accused me  of killing jobs for strawmakers.  

                Every comment upthread either to me or anyone else you had a snarky ass remark so just go sit down somewhere..no one is really taking you seriously.

                We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                by Vetwife on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:14:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand why you'd be (0+ / 0-)

                  embarrassed, and I take no pleasure in that. I hope that after some reflection you yourself conclude that slander is wrong, and that your emotional response to being called on it doesn't block you from thinking twice next time -- and not doing it. If you're going to decide that all the people who commented or recced comments callng out the slander aren't to be taken seriously, so be it.

    •  Fuck the company (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, doroma, StrayCat

      Power to the Peaceful!

      by misterwade on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:28:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how dare she offend her corporate masters! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      n/t

    •  could you try to read more closely? (0+ / 0-)

      she was not fired.

    •  CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (0+ / 0-)

      demands action that is uncomfortable to the authorities. She did the right thing, and we are talking about it.

      Her employment status is so insignificant compared to the right she has to speak her mind, and show evidence that she was publicly insulted for being a member of the human race in its many shades.

      (Now calling a Lobster Red, that is worthy of scrutiny..)

      Honesty is not a policy. It's a character trait.

      by Says Who on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:48:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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