JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The employee at a Jacksonville McDonald’s caught on camera slapping a customer tells Action News Jax the customer threw hot coffee on her and insulted her.
The employee reached out to Action News Jax to share her side of the story.
The employee, who goes by Ms. Williams, said she’s worked in customer service for years, but this was her first interaction, like this—with a customer.
Williams said she’s worked at McDonald’s for eight years and understands the importance of good customer service.
That’s why she says she doesn’t condone the way she reacted, but says she’s just a human being at the end of the day.
In this 45-second video, Williams is seen walking around the counter to slap a customer.
But before someone pulled out their phone to record, Williams said the customer became belligerent because she thought her food wasn’t prepared quickly enough.
Although Williams says she tried to offer her a refund, but the situation escalated quickly.
She says the customer threw two drinks on her, and one of them was hot.
We asked Action News Jax Law and Safety expert, Dale Carson, what people in the service industry should do in that situation.
“Truly, in a circumstance like that where you’re injured first. You have an immediate moment to protect yourself, reach out, to perhaps strike them instantly. But you certainly cannot walk around a counter, encounter someone in a store and slap them. Because if you do that, you are attacking that person and you are subject to be charged,” Carson said
The story has quickly gained traction on our Action News Jax Facebook page, with hundreds of shares, thousands of views–and just as many comments.
One person said, “I can’t say I blame her. She didn’t deserved to have a drink thrown in her face.”
Another person commented, “I think it should be, she no longer works the front, or at that job. No one should just snap like that and slap anyone in a business.”
“I recognize that if someone does something to infuriate you, sometimes we all are going to react to that–and in many cases, it’s excusable but when you’re an employee, the employer actually takes on some of that burden,” Carson told Action News Jax.
To protect yourself legally, Carson said the best thing to do is to go to the manager’s office, call the police department and let them handle it.
“It’s a much better outcome that you getting even with them, causing yourself and the company, problems.”
If the customer did in fact throw hot coffee on the employee, Carson said she could face a felony charge.
Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole reached out to H&L Partners, the company that represents the fast-food chain, to find out how Ms. Williams’ account of what happened, could affect her employment and their response was: “This matter is being investigated. What will happen next is unknown.”
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