A Modesto employee is claiming language discrimination against Texas Roadhouse.
"I don’t feel like I’m going to be treated equally as everyone else," Sara Hernandez told FOX40 on Tuesday.
Hernandez works at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Modesto. She said her frustration with her job stems from a conversation she had in Spanish with a co-worker.
Hernandez said her manager came up to her and told her to stop talking.
"(The manager) said you’re being defiant ... by going against her saying not to speak Spanish," Hernandez said.
She said her boss sent her home on Monday afternoon for speaking in her native tongue.
"'Why am I getting sent home?' and she said, 'the language,' and I said, 'What about my language?' She said 'Spanish. You speaking Spanish.'"
But Texas Roadhouse says "they celebrate the diverse range of languages spoken by their employees" and added, “(Hernandez) was sent home with pay after she was repeatedly asked to stop socializing and to focus on the restaurant’s guests."
But she claimed there was no one there at the time and feels the manager disrespected her.
“No, it’s my language. You’re violating my first amendment. And she looked at me and she goes, 'If I tell you stop, you need to stop.'"
Hernandez posted her story on the Congregations Building Community’s Facebook page where she volunteers.
In the last 24 hours, the post has been shared hundreds of times. Hernandez said she shared her story because she doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else.
“I want people to treated equally,” she said.
But Texas Roadhouse is adamant and said they are an equal opportunity employer and that the issue has nothing to do with a worker speaking Spanish.
“This is not a language issue; this is a job performance issue.”
As for the co-worker she was speaking with in Spanish, she said he was not sent home.
Roadhouse also told us that Hernandez is still an employee and was sent home with pay on Monday.