Woman's Anti-Mask Rant at Grocery Store Employee Torn Apart by Lawyer

A lawyer has reacted to a "Karen" claiming she shouldn't legally be refused service by a grocery store for not wearing a mask. In the video, a woman was caught in an explicit-filled verbal tirade against a worker, as she refused to leave the store, citing "rights code 51."

Michael Mandell, known online as Law by Mike, is an established lawyer and managing partner of Mandell Law in California. Mandell is also a social media sensation with over 6 million followers on his TikTok and 500,000 on Instagram, where he regularly shares insights into U.S. laws, gives his views on cases and shares tips on how to react to different legal situations.

On December 1, Mandell uploaded a situation his director Alec witnessed in a Los Angeles grocery store, as a woman "freaked out" over staff refusing her entry. The video gained over 3.9 million views, while his legal analysis of it saw an additional 300,000.

"The woman in the video was irate that she had to wear her mask at a local California supermarket (what's truly confusing is that she had a bandanna around her neck). When the employee asked her to leave, she became verbally abusive to the employee and called him homophobic slurs and curse word," Mandell told Newsweek.

"The employee kept calm, the woman stormed out, and the matter thankfully didn't progress to physical violence. Shortly after the incident, I received a call from my director and cousin, Alec Mandell, that he just witnessed a 'Karen' and got it all on tape."

In the clip, the woman can be heard saying: "You're discriminating against me, I need to breathe air." When the manager informed her that she needed to leave, she refused, claiming it to be a public space.

"You don't have no balls, you're a little b**ch," she said. "Cause you don't have the law on your side to protect and not discriminate against people, and you do not have the law on your side to discriminate."

After being told she was breaking the law, the woman replied: "No I'm not breaking the law, I have the rights code 51, yeah, this is America f**k face. F**k you idiot, little no-ball-having b**ch."

The Unruh Civil Rights Act, also known as the California Civil Code Section 51 provides protection against discrimination because of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, by businesses in California.

"Get out of my face b**ch. Get the f**k out of my face and I'll leave," she added, before saying that she actually won't leave.

"You know what I'd love," she began, after the employee said he'd love to see her arrested when the police arrive. "I'd love you to grow for balls and f***ing stand up for people, stand up for the Americans."

When the woman asked a customer if they got it on video however, it turned out to be Mandell's director, who responded: "No but I actually work with Law by Mike and you're wrong,"

In a brutal takedown of the "Karen," Mandell posted a follow-up video breaking down her claims that she had the law on her side.

"Does this Karen have to wear a mask?" he asked. "Legally, yes. Here's why."

With the use of on-screen emojis, he explained that it's similar to places refusing service to those without a shirt or shoes on—two very common rules in many stores and restaurants.

"Stores have had 'no shirt, no shoes, no services' signs up forever," Mandell clarified to Newsweek. "Unless it's mandated under state law, stores also have the right to reject cash money as payment. These are not new developments. Of course there are limits, but these are basic public health precautions."

"Businesses can make you wear a mask unless you have a disability preventing you from wearing one. But even then they can accommodate your disability by requiring a face shield or offering curbside pickup," he explained in the video.

"Don't take it out on the employees, sometimes it's not up to the business, your local laws may require them to enforce it."

"So save yourself the embarrassment of showing up in one of my videos, just be cool in public."

Mandell explained his initial reaction to Newsweek: "When I first saw this video, I was shocked and disturbed by the treatment of the employee. We are facing an international health crisis and the world has become a scary and, at least in the U.S, divided place. That said, it's important that we don't lose our humanity and respect for fellow human beings.

"The employee was just trying to do his job. He's not the owner of the store. He didn't write the store policies or the local laws here in California. Regardless of your opinions about the mask mandates, you can't fault the guy for doing his job—and certainly shouldn't treat him like that."

"After watching the video, we thought it would be a great opportunity to educate the public about the law on this matter and how we should treat people," he added.

"So, I turned to my social media handle Law By Mike that has amassed over 7 million followers across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Since starting Law By Mike last year, I have used the platform to educate people about their most important legal rights. I believe that the law belongs to all of us; lawyers should endeavor to make the law accessible to anyone, not keep the law libraries guarded under lock and key.

"We advocate the principle that 'knowledge is power' and hope that we can empower each other, and be a little entertaining at the same time."

UPDATE 12/30/2021 at 8:06 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a new photo.