Raleigh Restaurant May Face Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Posted January 19, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — A Raleigh restaurant could face a racial discrimination suit. A woman says a worker at a Pizza Hut first refused to serve her, then verbally abused her.
Teah Stinson claims it was blatant discrimination. The incident allegedly happened at the Pizza Hut on Capitol Boulevard.
Stinson picketed the restaurant Wednesday. She plans to use a sign to illustrate the treatment she says she got at the Pizza Hut.
Stinson says she stopped in to order two large pizzas Tuesday night. But after waiting several minutes, the manager, a white man, waited on another customer first - a white man who had arrived long after she did.
"He automatically said to the gentleman, 'May I help you?' I said, 'Excuse me, I am standing here' and he said 'What do I want?' Not 'May I help you?', what do I want," Stinson said.
After 45 minutes of waiting, Stinson then says the manager would not let her use a coupon she found on the counter.
"I said, 'There's a coupon here for $7.99.' I said, 'Can I use it?' He said 'No.' He said it loud and clear. Anybody could have heard it. I said, 'Why not?' He said, 'Because I said so,'" Stinson said.
Then Stinson claims the unthinkable.
"He then said, 'we don't serve' the n-word," she said.
Pizza Hut's regional vice president, Don Pollon, is stunned. He says if an employee used that language, he or she would be terminated, and he pledged to fully investigate the allegations.
"We don't tolerate nor condone discrimination of any kind," Pollon said. "Whether it be sexual, race, age, anything like that."
Pizza Hut officials say they will try to contact customers who were in the restaurant that night, to see if there may have been any witnesses.
In the meantime, Stinson has contacted an attorney and the NAACP. She also plans to continue picketing the restaurant over the next few days.