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Woman Breaks Down in Tears, Says Dunkin' Workers Refused Her Service Because She's Deaf

Lois Oladejo
Sep 20, 2021
08:00 A.M.
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Netizens are over themselves with rage after a deaf woman called out the Dunkin fast food joint for turning down her order because of her disability.

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The fast-food restaurant, Dunkin' Donuts, has come under fire after a woman called them out in a tear-jerking video for refusing her service because she was deaf.

She shared the video on TikTok, which showed her crying as she recounted her devastating ordeal at the hands of the restaurant's employees and their manager.

Woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin' because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

Woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin' because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

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The video featured the poster, @shannon_hereoux, seated in her car, with a grief-flushed face covered by a pair of sunglasses. As she commenced her explanation, the confessed uber driver took off the glasses to reveal her reddened, tear-filled eyes.

She began by pointing out how emotional she had been since the ordeal. The woman proceeded to recall how she went into the joint to order a drink but was unable to hear anything from those attending to her since she forgot to wear a cochlear implant.

Her attempt to explain to the employees that she was deaf and needed them to lower their masks so she could read their lips failed.

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A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

Even after the manager came along, he gave her the same treatment as the employees, even refusing to write down his responses for her to read. Stifling another bout of tears, Shannon said:

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"I've never been refused an order before. And it hurts. It hurts really bad. Dunkin' Donuts is my favorite place to go."

Shannon believed the manager, like many others before him, doubted her hearing disability because her speech was flawless.

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

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The poster explained that she posed no immediate danger of infection to any of the staff, as she had her mask on and stood six feet away from them. Additionally, they were separated by plexiglass, which she considered enough. Amid tears, the poster said:

"What more do they want from us! We've struggled so much during the pandemic. Enough is enough."

Sharing the video was the uber driver's way of letting the world know discriminating against physically challenged people was not okay. And other TikTok users agreed with her.

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Taking to the comment section, netizens extended an arm of support to her by blasting the fast-food joint's discriminating attitude. One wrote:

"So sorry you had to go through this. Dunkin is completely in the wrong. I hope they realize that you could sue them for disability discrimination."

Another netizen agreed, offering to help Shannon file a civil lawsuit and an ADA complaint against the restaurant at no fee. One user stated firmly: "Not going to @Dunkin' again until they give the huge apology they owe her."

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

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Most users commended the young woman for being bold enough to call out the restaurant, thereby standing up for everyone living with a disability.

Some tried explaining to the poster that asking employees to pull down their masks to enable her to lip-read was not a safe option due to the ongoing pandemic.

However, they criticized the staff for not attempting to pen down their words for a customer, whether or not they believed she was deaf. In one voice, TikTokers demanded Dunkin and its staff members to make things right at all cost or face the penalty.

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

A user's comment to the video of a woman who claimed to be denied service at Dunkin because of her disability. | Photo: tiktok.com/shannon_heroux

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In July, Walmart faced a dire penalty over a similar situation. The company reportedly fired an employee with down syndrome for severe absenteeism without providing her with reasonable accommodation.

As a result, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Walmart on behalf of the woman, Marlo Spaeth. The jury awarded her $125 million in punitive damages, plus an additional $150,000 in compensatory damages.

Although the company appealed for the verdict to be reduced to $300,000, the maximum amount allowed for punitive and compensatory damages under federal law, it was still a sizable penalty.

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