A social media posting is spreading around the Milwaukee area suggesting a boycott of Leon’s Frozen Custard for prohibiting employees from speaking Spanish to Latino customers.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
May 18, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Wednesday, Cheryl Arellano alleged on Facebook (FB) that Ron Schneider, the owner of the popular Southside Leon’s Frozen Custard Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor at 3131 S. 27th Street is prohibiting employees from speaking Spanish to Latino customers. It even got the attention of 12th District Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo-West who suggested a boycott in a FB post.
Schneider nor a representative from Leon’s have responded to Arellano’s allegation on FB that the business is discriminating Latinos who are one of its largest customer base and market for the custard frozen products.
It is illegal to prohibit employees from speaking Spanish, according to the federal EEOC.
Mundomax Wisconsin posted on its FB that they spoke to Schneider about his employees and he responded that he only has two employees that speak Spanish and doesn’t have the staff to attend all the customers. Probably referring to Spanish speaking customers? Mundomax Wisconsin mentioned a Journal Sentinel article on its FB post, but did not cite the article.
Schneider admitted to WISN news that he has a strict policy for employees not speak Spanish to speed up sales, but fails to justify his policy after a majority of customers are Latinos. He confirmed, that he is married to a Hispanic, raising the question, does he practice the same policy at home to only speak English.
Latino immigrant right activist German Sánchez calling for a boycott as well and others are coming out in support of a Leon’s boycott. Schneider seems to be stalled in the 1950’s racist mentality of not welcoming immigrants as customers by sending a strong message that Spanish is not allowed in his business or even in his property, some might agrue.
Schneider told WISN that his English only policy at Leon’s is not discrimination, Smh.
LULAC of Wisconsin State Director Dr. Arturo Martinez, released the following statement regarding Leon’s only English work policy for its employees, “In the last 24 hours, LULAC of Wisconsin has received numerous requests to investigate the issue of workplace policy as it pertains to language at Leon’s Frozen Custard located at 3131 S. 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While many of us consider this as a community institution, it was surprising when we learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law. Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law is clear on this issue and offers few exceptions. In the meantime, we encourage management to review their current employment policies with counsel to bring them into compliance. We are confident that in doing so, it will lead to a stronger business and a stronger community.”
Editor’s note: The Leon’s Frozen Custard in Oshkosh is not affiliated with the Milwaukee Leon’s Frozen Custard, according to the owners from Oshkosh.