Burger King Worker Fired For Sign Saying, 'Now Hiring Must Be Mexican'

Burger King says worker acted on his own

Angry Worker Puts Racist Message on Burger King Sign

As countless Americans struggle to find work, many can't help but wonder -- is the search all the more difficult because of competition with immigrants? The conflict may be irrelevant at times, but here appears to be an instance when the role of immigration in the workforce was forced under the spotlight. "Now Hiring Must Be Mexican," a billboard outside a Burger King in Ephrata, Washington, recently read, as was reported by local radio station KFFM.

There are some questions about the image. Initially, KFFM wrote it wasn't "exactly sure of the reasoning. Maybe none of the current staff can speak espanol," the site conjectured, as was reported by the news site, Opposing Views. But an update on KFFM's website noted a "disgruntled employee" was fired for putting up the sign. The radio station has also questioned whether the image was actually taken at the Ephrata branch, as well.

Burger King has released a statement through its Facebook page in which it made clear the worker, who has not been named, was not acting on behalf of the parent company:

"The sign in question was posted briefly last summer, without approval at a franchise-owned and operated restaurant. Please know the franchisee has informed us that the employee who posted and photographed this sign was immediately terminated as a result. The Burger King team is dedicated to diversity and inclusion."

KFFM also polled its readers on whether they found the sign offensive. Eighty percent have said yes, as of the latest tally. The incident has also touched a nerve among Burger King fans on Facebook. And even though it appears just one employee was behind the sign, people like Susie Carol Mallard Hortman are calling for a boycott of the company on its Facebook page. "I will not be your customer ever again," she wrote.

The immigrant card
Either way, as AOL Jobs has reported, the large school of academic research on the subject maintains the effect of immigrants on America's jobs landscape to be largely negligible. As Pia Orrenius, a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, previously explained to AOL Jobs, every 10 percent increase of foreign-born workers in a region leads to a 1 percent change in the average wages of the legal residents. And the statistic holds true for skilled workers as well, she said.

Why is that? For starters, many immigrants occupy jobs many Americans would simply rather not take. And with new arrivals doing much of the grunt work, other workers are allowed to specialize in a field, allowing them to thrive. Finally, the so-called "immigration surplus" holds that the economy must benefit from the uptick in the use of goods and services by the new arrivals. And so in the long run the impact of immigrant labor on native-born workers' wages is a "wash," according to Orrenius.

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Richard Cheek

Repeating that old lie; illegals are only taking jobs Americans wont do.

But you put in some weasel words and changed it slightly to 'many take jobs many Americans wont do'.

When has that NOT been true? I am sure that through our whole history there have been some jobs the very rich would never do, but how does that help the millions of unemployed we have today who would do ANY job at all?

January 27 2014 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We all need cleaning companies in the area to keep our places clean thats why we got Spic and Span, and when your hungry after work for a quick bite thank Ching and Chong, the two who own most of our restraunts in the area.

January 03 2014 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"...the large school of academic research on the subject maintains the effect of immigrants on America's jobs landscape to be largely negligible." Nonsense. The mass influx of legal and illegal immigrants has been disastrous for America's working poor. Try reading some of George Borjas's research, and not Open Borders garbage.

November 16 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward Smith

How ironic! Now they are hiring since they just fired someone!

November 15 2013 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The employee should not been fired but educated in regards to American, culture, diversity and discrimination in the workplace.

November 15 2013 at 2:10 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vanessa's comment

Oh please. Burger King shouldn't have to pay for that. Let the little punk go and he can figure it out for himself.

November 15 2013 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Douglas Mackinnon

Come on! It was obviously a joke (one the joker got fired for). Let's not get so PC that we can't laugh at something like this.

Also, all of you that think a business owner doesn't have the right to require you to be bilingual are un-American. We are a free market, if I'm going to lose customers because my staff can't communicate with them then it's my right to make being bilingual a job requirement.

Should all citizens of the US speak English? Yes, but many are just learning, or are only here on holiday, If those people are a big part of my business then, sorry, I'm going to make sure my staff can service them.

November 14 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I went in to a Home Depot and the intercom was jest in Spanish so I left.

November 14 2013 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Complete bull that people say mexican immigrants only take low wage jobs. I have met and know many mexican immigrants that have better paying jobs than most US citizens. I know for a fact that some immigrants take jobs that pay under the table and will not work for less than 10.00 an hour. I have seen people get paid 23.00 an hour without ever having to pay a single cent of taxes on it and their wives at home getting food stamps while the husband sends money to mexico to build a house or 2 or 3 and help their community out. I have many a time been denied a job but I have not revealed that I speak spanish because I dont feel I should have to. I went to college but my daughter is disabled so I have to apply and work at "undesirable" part time jobs only to be turned down for a spanish speaking person. That is why I think English should become the official language of the United States. I should not lose out to someone who is in this country illegally no matter what the wage is.

November 14 2013 at 11:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fellowcomp's comment

Ten thumbs up!

November 15 2013 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know many Native American, White American, Black American, Oriental American, Middle Eastern American, and Hispanic American men and women who would love to take many of those "grunt" jobs, especially in this economy. But for my back injuries, I would consider a job in one of those "grunt" jobs.
With the current economic conditions, there are many who would be glad to have any job.
That being said, I think the sign was inappropriate. As to firing the employee who posted the sign, his employment status would rest on his entire work behavior, not just that one incident. Everybody makes mistakes in judgment at one time or another, but those mistakes can be valuable life lessons and sometimes an employee who has made a mistake and is sincerely sorry for the error in judgment can become an even more valuable employee if he is given the opportunity to repent and continue in his job. Again, every situation is different. If this guy was a problem worker, then firing may be the appropriate action.

November 14 2013 at 11:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

When my grandparents came to this country they learned English! They had to.... because that was the only language spoken. Now we have to accommodate immigrants by printing and speaking everything in Spanish. They do not even have to to learn English.......much too their detriment. As all of our standardized tests in our schools are in English. Everyone talks about how poor the test scores are......well geez.....you cannot expect a child to do well if they can't understand the language it is written in. Everyone who comes to this country needs to learn English!!!! No one accommodates us when we travel to their countries!!!

November 14 2013 at 11:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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