Waitress says she was fired for not serving Wisconsin couple who demeaned trans people

A waitress in Wisconsin says she was fired for refusing to serve a couple making disparaging remarks about another patron.

Brittany Spencer was working at Fat Joe’s Bar and Grill in Fond du Lac on Saturday when a couple began making comments about a patron Spencer believed to be transgender, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.

“They were asking me if I thought it was disgusting and wrong and why we would let someone like that into the establishment,” Spencer told TMJ4. “To which I answered, no, I do not agree with that and walked away.”

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Brittany Spencer, a waitress at Fat Joe’s in Wisconsin, says she was fired for refusing to serve a couple making demeaning comments about trans people. Screengrab: TMJ4

Fat Joe’s owner Tad Wallender said patrons at both tables were “loyal customers” at that there hadn’t been any friction between the two groups in the past, according to the Reporter.

Spencer says she asked her manager if someone else could take the table, but was told “to either suck it up or go home,” WDJT reported.

Tad’s wife and co-owner Whitney Wallender says the decision was made to send Spencer home for the day, according to the news outlet.

“Everybody has their opinions, everybody is entitled to their opinions,” Whitney Wallender told WDJT. “Us as a business, we have to stay as neutral as possible.”

When Spencer got home, she made a post on Facebook which read: “I got sent home from work early because I refused to serve a table who were making transphobic remarks about guests at one of my other tables,” according to the Reporter. “Oh well, at least I stand by my morals and beliefs.”

The next day, Spencer was fired, TMJ4 reported. Seeing how many comments her post had amassed, she encouraged people to leave poor reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The Wallenders ultimately deleted the page when the conversation took a political turn, according to the news outlet.

Tad Wallender says it was Spencer’s Facebook post which prompted them to fire her, not that she refused to serve the table, WDJT reported.

“She decided she wanted to post stuff on Facebook about being sent home,” Wallender told the news outlet. “And we just made the business decision that we can’t have employees that aren’t going to make us look good as an establishment.”

Spencer says she apologizes if the Wallenders felt harassed, according to WDJT, but has plans to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, TMJ4 reported.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.