At a suburban Chicago Hooters, Joseph Schmidt is a security guard. But as a video shows and this lawsuit filed by customer Livier Torres claims, Schmidt seems to have operated more like a bouncer. Organizations across America that employ security guards should pay attention to this one.
On Jan. 10, 2010, customer Torres had a beef about her Hooters bill, arguing that she had been charged for food she hadn't ordered or received. She asked to speak to the restaurant manager. Instead the security guard, who appears as a giant next to Torres, stepped up to the plate. Almost instantly, the situation get tense between the two. Soon Schmidt has his hands around the grandmother's throat and was pulling her hair.
Surprisingly, it was Torres who wound up in jail for misdemeanor battery, currently serving out a 200-day sentence. Perhaps her record of some previous trouble with the law did her in.
Depending on how much publicity this lawsuit gets in the media and whether Hooters settles for some big number, the role of security could undergo a major re-thinking in corporate America. Their job description and training could be radically changed. It won't help Hooters or Schmidt that this is hardly the first lawsuit regarding the behavior of a security guard. Actually, in the loss prevention industry, the lawsuits are escalating as more sophisticated customers "know their rights."