It is the year 2012, and yet racism is still prevalent in the work environment.

In July, an Asian couple ordered food from a Hooters in Queens, expecting greasy buffalo shrimp and chicken wings – but what they also got was an extra helping of racism, after they saw “Chinx” written on their food receipt. The ethnic slur was made worse when Korean-American Kisuk Cha saw the food server “gawking” at them and “giggling” while looking at the computer monitor.

“She was very apologetic,” Edward McCabe, lawyer for the Hooters franchise, said after investigation into the case. “She said she didn’t realize the gravity of it and how offensive it was.”

How can you think that a racist comment isn’t offensive? McCabe defended the franchise by saying employees are permitted to refer to customers by clothing or hair color, but never by race.  Cha said he is “haunted” by the ridiculing giggles and stares of the Hooters’ employee, and does not feel welcome at Hooters and any other non-Korean establishments. His lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, will be filed against that particular Queens restaurant since it is an independently licensed franchise.

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