Humble, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — A Whataburger employee says she was “humiliated” at work for her weight, and that her manager at the fast-food restaurant made her get on her hands and knees to clean the store floor with a “toothbrush.”
Whitney Clark says she has heard insults and fat jokes for years, but the way she has been treated as a cook at the Whataburger off the 1960 bypass road was completely humiliating, KHOU-TV reports. Clark says the insults from her managers at the fast-food restaurant finally culminated when she was “humiliated” and forced to clean the restaurant floor with a toothbrush.
“I will always be a big girl, I’m not ashamed of what I am. I just let it get to me because you hear it over and over and over,” Clark told KHOU, adding that her manager then forced her to clean the store in a video that her mother caught on a cellphone video.
“She said we’ve got to get on our hands and knees and clean the floor with a toothbrush,” said Clark.
The video shows Clark bent over on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor tiles with a very small brush.
“I’m gonna turn this into human resources,” her mother can be heard saying in the video she shot from outside a store window. “Of all the workers she’s the only who has to get on her hands and knees to clean floors.”
Clark says she injured her knees during the humiliating process and filed a workman’s comp claim in addition to a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Humble, Texas, Whataburger restaurant. In the EEOC complaint she lists that she was discriminated against by her employer “as a female” and for “weight and race” factors.
“And the worst part was I didn’t even think to put gloves on and they didn’t even have the gloves out,” said Clark.
A Whataburger spokesperson told KHOU they couldn’t respond to the way that Clark’s claims of how she has been treated, but instead released a statement.
“One of our Core Values at Whataburger is to treat others with respect. We also pride ourselves in providing a safe and clean working environment,” the statement obtained by KHOU read. “Therefore we ask all of our employees at all levels to participate in keeping our restaurants clean for our customers. Cleaning with proper cleaning equipment is standard operating procedure for all our restaurants.”
After investigating the incident, Whataburger said that Clark was actually cleaning with a tile and grout hand brush to do the work, KHOU reports. Clark has not yet responded to that claim.
“It makes me feel so disgusted,” said Clark.
Clark says she now walks with a slight limp after the incident, but that the emotion pain over the way she’s been treated will last much longer than any physical pain.