Frozen Custard Stand Dinged Over Uncool English-Only Policy
The owner is willing to fight anyone who says he's racist
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2016 1:55 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A frozen-treat shop is in hot water over an English-only policy for its employees. Joey Sanchez, a customer at Leon's Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, tells WISN he heard an employee tell a Spanish-speaking customer she had to order in English. The employee then told Sanchez she wasn't allowed to speak Spanish at work. The business' owner, Ron Schneider, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he's had the policy for a year. However, he tells Fox 6 Now, the policy has been in place for a decade. He's also unclear on how strict the policy is. Regardless, he doesn't see the big deal. "This is still the United States," Schneider tells the Journal Sentinel. "Why do we have to get involved in multi-language things. I guess I'm just an old guy too steeped in tradition."

One reason for getting involved in multi-language things is that it's typically against federal law to require workers to speak only English. That's why the League of United Latin American Citizens is asking the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to look into Leon's Frozen Custard. Another reason is to make customers in a Latino-heavy neighborhood more comfortable. "If they have the people who can speak Spanish and communicate with the customer better, why not?" Sanchez tells Fox. Schneider says the policy is meant to keep customers from relying on him always having Spanish-speaking employees. "We can't be the United Nations," he tells WISN. "They got translators. We don't." And he says anyone who thinks the policy makes him a racist is welcome to "settle it the old-fashioned American way in the alley."