Disabled Woman Says McDonald's Discriminated Against Her...Twice
By Gerri Elder
Although Dawn Larson was born with a disability, she has never let it slow her down. She has Holt-Oram Syndrome which caused her to have underdeveloped hands and arms. It's never been a problem; since she was a baby she has used her feet as well as most people use their hands.
Larson is the mother of four sons and has no problems caring for them. Last November, she decided to treat them all to a meal from McDonald's drive-thru. She ordered food for all of them and drove around to the first window to pay. She used her left foot to hand the cashier her credit card and the cashier processed the payment and gave Larson back her card. No problem. So far it sounds like the same treatment that anyone might receive at a drive-thru restaurant.
When Larson pulled to the next window to pick up the food for her family she says she encountered a problem. The employee reportedly acted disgusted by her, ridiculed her for having "no arms", was very rude and allegedly refused to hand over her bag of food.
Then the manager appeared at the window. You would have thought at this point that the story would change a bit, but unfortunately it does not. Larson claims that the manager was also rude to her and acted disgusted. Larson says she suggested that the food be handed to her son and he reached out and took the food.
Offended by the way she was treated, Larson says she called the restaurant when she got home. She was reportedly told by another manager that disciplinary action had been taken against both of the employees. She later received $10.00 worth of gift certificates from McDonald's in the mail.
The next time Larson and her children wanted food from McDonald's, they drove to a different McDonald's restaurant. She ordered at the speaker and pulled around to pay for the food. The employee processed the payment on her credit card and handed the card back to Larson's outstretched foot. Again, no problem paying for the food.
When Larson drove forward to pick up the food she had just paid for, she says the employee at the second window acted in a ridiculous fashion. The girl allegedly threw up her hands and said she wasn't "doing this" and closed the window in Larson's face without giving her the food. She also reportedly refused to hand the bag to Larson's son.
Finally Larson had a friend go inside the restaurant to pick up the food so they could leave. McDonald's employees reportedly would not even hand the food over to the friend. Larson says that an employee finally came outside and handed the food over to the friend.
Larson is suing McDonald's, and if these stories of harassment and humiliation are true, who could blame her? Her attorney claims that the two alleged incidents violated Larson's civil rights.