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Manager fired after video shows confrontation at Salt Lake City restaurant

Posted at 8:28 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 22:28:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City counter service restaurant at the center of a controversial viral video said they fired a manager seen in the "appalling" video.

The video shows a confrontation involving the manager and the children of employee Connie Fuentes Aguirre.

Omar Fuentes explained that he recorded the video Thursday afternoon after he and his siblings came in to help translate for their mom so she could ask her manager for a raise.

Connie doesn’t speak English fluently, and Omar and his sister Esmeralda said their mom has a hard time understanding when people speak too fast.

“She needed help,” Omar said. “And that’s why we were there.”

Esmeralda said she went up to the manager first to ask about the raise, which the kids said Connie was told she’d receive months ago.

“[The manager] didn’t even let me finish asking the question, by the time… she was already yelling at me and telling to get out,” Esmeralda said. “And, that I shouldn’t be telling her what to pay her employees, and that if my mom has a problem with the pay that she’s the problem and she’s the one that should leave.”

That’s when Omar said he went up to ask for the corporate CoreLife Eatery number. He also said he began to record on his phone.

In the video, the manager is seen on the phone standing behind the counter.

“I’m just trying to translate for my mom, and you’re kicking me out?” Omar asks.

The manager, who appears to be on the phone with security, begins talking to Connie.

“You—[no more job] here. Your [boy], your [girl]—[No good],” the manager says, partly in Spanish. “They want to come in my restaurant, cause [much] drama. You [no more]. You [no more job], if you don’t get them out of here. Now.”

“You don’t have to act like this,” Omar says.

“You can get her a job, because you seriously just cost your mom her job,” The manager says. “There is a good way to go about things, this is not how you do it. You do you not come in here and…”

She trails off as Omar said he’s trying to get the corporate number.

Eventually, the manager speaks to security and trespasses Connie and her kids from CoreLife.

“Get the hell out of my restaurant right now,” the manager says. “Get out. Get out.”

Security ended up escorting the group outside.

The next day, after hundreds of thousands of views on social media, CoreLife Eatery issued a statement about the situation.

“We will not tolerate this type of behavior and have taken swift action,” CoreLife Eatery Mountain West President Rick Timmons said in an interview.

He apologized, saying they terminated the manager and reached out to the Fuentes family in an attempt to give Connie her job back.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Timmons said. “We don’t like to see anybody treated that way.”

Here is the full statement from CoreLife Eatery:

“We have worked to investigate and respond as quickly and responsible as possible since we first learned of this incident less than 18 hours ago. The actions of our manager were completely unacceptable and do not represent our commitment to a dignified environment for our employees and patrons. We apologize to our employee, her family, patrons in the restaurant at the time of the incident and all others who were offended by the actions of our manager

“We will not tolerate this type of behavior and have taken swift action. We initially placed the manager on administrative leave while we investigated in more detail and have since terminated her. More importantly, we are in the process of reaching out to our employee to apologize and begin to take steps to make the situation right.

“We are working to implement additional conflict resolution and sensitivity training with both management and team members to help ensure this does not happen again in the future. As a company, we are committed to providing the highest quality and product and service, including to our dedicated employees.”