McDonald’s has found itself at the center of a race row after an assistant manager told an employee she wouldn’t get any extra shifts because she is black.
Divine Tenn, 18, was working at a West Midland McDonald’s on a zero hour contract when she tried to sign up for some extra shifts.
But she was told by her boss Jaskaran Singh Khela that instructions had been handed down that meant no shifts were being given out to the restaurant’s 20 black workers.
Divine was told the reason for the change was that two black workers were ‘under-performing’.
‘I am absolutely disgusted that a company so big and who I have worked hard for for over a year could treat me like this,’ she said, speaking from her home in Tipton.
‘I can’t believe that racism still exists in this day and age.
‘It’s been really upsetting for me and the other black members of staff, who now feel too uncomfortable to work there.
Divine began working for the Fort Parkway restaurant, in Erdington, in March 2014, so she could save up to go to university.
When she first started working she was given 20 hours of shifts per week, for £5.19 an hour, and was able to earn around £400 a month.
But in July 2015 she first noticed something was wrong, when she was refused two shifts by the assistant manager.
‘I spoke to some of the other employees, who happened to be black, and they said they hadn’t been allowed to pick up any shifts either.
‘I decided to call my assistant manager to find out what was going on.
‘My assistant manager said a couple of the other black members of staff had not been doing very well at work, so all of the black staff were being banned from taking on shifts.
‘I was horrified… and because I wasn’t on a proper contract I had no rights and there wasn’t anything I could do.’
In an audio recording of the phone call, Mr Khela, 26, can be heard telling Divine that ‘the black people can’t take no shifts because they’re not performing’.
Divine added: ‘I’ve always worked hard and covered as many shifts as possible while I’ve been saving up to go to university.
‘To be discriminated against like this because I am black is shocking and depressing.’
She continued: ‘I was so disgusted I handed in my resignation that day, I refuse to work for a company that doesn’t value me because of the color of my skin.’
Although Divine has reported the incident to McDonald’s, she is still waiting for a response.
A McDonald’s spokesman said: ‘We took this incident extremely seriously and launched a full investigation.
‘The employee concerned no longer works for the company and support is in place for the members of staff affected by the incident.
‘McDonald’s is an inclusive employer and any incidences of discrimination against our employees will not be tolerated.’