Oklahoma Woman Says She Was Refused Service at Burger King Because She is Deaf: 'When I Got Home, That Was When I Really Broke Down'

A woman has claimed she was refused service at a Burger King drive-thru in Oklahoma because she is deaf. Rachel Hollis said the incident occurred at a branch of the fast food store in Oklahoma City while she was with her two children, who she was taking to hockey practice.

She said that she had her order written down on her phone, like she has done in the past, and tried to hand it over to the worker in the window. Speaking to KFOR via an interpreter, Hollis said the worker pulled a "face of frustration" when she tried to hand the phone over.

The Burger King worker eventually handed Hollis a letter explaining: "Can't do a full order at the window. Too busy."

Hollis decided to record the encounter on her phone, fearing she was being discriminated against. In the clip, the worker then comes back to the window and repeats that he can't take her order there.

"You have to come inside. It's too busy," the man says. "Too busy ma'am, I can't do a full order at the window I'm sorry," the employee said. "It has nothing to do with your disability, I have a disability too."

The restaurant then called the police when she refused to leave the drive-thru. Hollis said the most upsetting part of the encounter was that her children had to witness it as well.

"I could tell they knew something was going on, I was just trying to keep them calm," Hollis said. "I said 'I'll explain it to you when we get home.' But they knew something was going on.

"When I got home, that was when I really broke down," she said. "I was very upset, I was crying, I was very tired. I'm tired of discrimination. I've never experienced anything like that, for someone to call the police. That's crazy, it just doesn't seem right."

Hollis said she was eventually able to get her order from another employee.

Speaking to KTUL, Hollis hopes the incident will help educate people who "maybe don't know how to work with deaf people in the food industry."

In a statement about the incident, Burger King said: "All guests should be treated with respect and provided with a high level of service at our restaurants. The restaurant owner has reached out to the guest and her family to apologize, the employee was terminated and all employees at the location will undergo additional sensitivity training to ensure our customers always feel welcomed."

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File photo: A diner orders food from a Burger King restaurant on the city's Southwest side on December 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. An Oklahoma woman says she was refused service at a Burger King because she’s deaf. Scott Olson/Getty