ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) --A former African-American worker at a Culver's restaurant in south suburban Orland Park said a white manager-in-training left a racist display for her to find when she showed up at work.
Diamond Williams said when she confronted the co-worker who did it, he told her he meant it as a joke. But to her it was downright terrifying.
Williams said she came into work at the Culver's on the morning of July 16 to a re-creation of a Ku Klux Klan hanging, made up of water cups and straws.
"If I were to be a customer walking into the store, it would be just right there," Williams said. "This was behind the register."
Scared and in shock, Williams said the crude display was left up for over two hours until the restaurant was set to open. When nobody said anything, Williams said she brought it up with the general manager.
After determining that it was an 18-year-old manager-in-training who was responsible, that person was suspended, but not fired. When Williams saw him back at work this past weekend, she decided to quit.
"It just hurt me to see that this is still going on 'till this day," Williams said. "And then I have to come to work and deal with this?"
The franchise owner said the employee in question was fired Monday morning, calling his actions, "Stupid, ignorant and reprehensible."
A further statement from the company said, "Treating everyone with dignity and respect has been at the heart of how Culver's operates. We do not tolerate acts of discrimination."
The franchise owner said he believes it was ignorance and not malice or hate that led to the employee's actions, but he was fired when it became apparent others in addition to Williams were not comfortable with him returning to work.