An Iowa woman fired for saying she “hates f*cking Mexicans” claimed such talk has been normalized in her workplace since Donald Trump was elected — but won’t be able to get unemployment benefits because of it.
According to Des Moines Register, the Iowa Employment Appeals Board reversed an earlier decision granting Angela Diers unemployment because the comments met the state’s definition of misconduct.
Previously, Administrative Law Judge Beth Scheetz said that Dexter Laundry, Diers’ former employer, could not “single out” the woman for misconduct because “since President Trump’s election, it was common for workers” at that workplace to disparage black and Latino people.
Scheetz’s earlier decision came after Diers argued that many of her coworkers made derogatory comments about “blacks and foreigners.” She was fired for making the comments after getting angry about a coworker “dancing and singing Mexican” the day before Cinco de Mayo at work.
“It was 7 o’clock in the morning, or 6:30 in the morning, and here’s Lindsey, dancing and singing Mexican … It’s, like, ‘What are you doing?’ And then she said something about Cinco de Mayo,” Diers testified. “And that’s when I said I hated Mexicans.”
She went on to clarify that she only disliked “illegal Mexicans.”
“We talk about everything out on the floor — whether it’s the president or the vice president,” the woman testified before the administrative law judge. “There has been talk on the floor: Some people don’t like blacks, certain people don’t like Mexicans, certain people don’t like foreigners. We talk, and then we just move on.”
In her now-overturned ruling, Scheetz wrote that “if management wishes all workers to be treated with respect, it must enforce respectful treatment amongst co-workers and supervisors, and apply those expectations consistently throughout the chain of command.”
In its reversal, the employment appeals board said Diers’ “comments fell squarely within the type of behavior the employer’s work rules specifically prohibit.”
“Her clarification that she only meant ‘illegal’ Mexicans does not absolve her of culpability,” the board members wrote.