A Korean woman is suing Marco’s Pizza, its owner and a male employee for an incident in which she claims the employee used a racist word for Asian people on her receipt.
The incident occurred almost two years ago at a business location in Alpharetta after a disagreement between the woman and employee, according to the suit, which was filed June 5. The ordeal has caused the plaintiff “mental anguish, emotional distress, extreme embarrassment and anger,” the suit says.
A manager at that Marco’s location said she “had no idea” about the lawsuit and could not comment on it, but that the company is aware of the incident.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff and her mother went into the Marco’s Pizza in Alpharetta on Highway 9 on July 10, 2015. She was greeted by the male employee who isn’t identified in the suit.
After telling him she would like to place an order for takeout, the employee and the customer had a small argument about whether a coupon could be used, according to the suit.
The woman, who is also not identified in the lawsuit, then placed her order and asked how long it would take, the lawsuit says. The man responded by saying, “It’ll be ready tomorrow. I don’t know, maybe in a few hours.” He then said the order would be ready in 10 to 15 minutes.
While the food was being prepared, the plaintiff and her mother went shopping at a nearby Publix. The woman returned to Marco’s to pick up her pizza.
A female employee was behind the counter this time, and the lawsuit says that the plaintiff’s order could not be found in the system but was eventually located the pizza in the back of the store.
After paying and as the plaintiff was walking out of the store, she noticed a computer-generated receipt taped to the top of the box, and “was shocked, stunned, mortified, humiliated and severely distressed” that in the space designated for the customer name was the derogatory term, according to the lawsuit.
A company spokeswoman for Marco’s, Laura Johnstone, wrote in an email: “Marco’s Pizza values and respects the diversity of our guests... The incident referenced is related to a franchised location. Marco's expects all franchises to meet our standards of the Five Star guest experience.”
Once the company was notified, it launched an investigation and “appropriate action” was taken to ensure that everyone associated with Marco’s is treated respectfully, Johnstone said. Diversity training with the Atlanta region team members was also held, she said.
The customer’s lawyer, Marietta-based attorney Michael R. Braun, wrote in an email that he and his client would “prefer not to comment” on the suit and added that it had been an “extremely upsetting and emotional event” for his client.