Home Depot offers job back to man who says he was fired for response to racist customer
Home Depot said Friday that the company has reviewed the case of a man who was fired over his response to a racist customer and decided to offer him his job back.
Maurice Rucker, who is black, told a local NBC affiliate he was verbally assaulted by a customer at the Albany, N.Y., Home Depot where he worked.
The company initially said Rucker did not follow “proper protocol” in his response to the customer and fired him, but in a statement to The Hill on Friday, the company said it reversed its decision.
“We’ve taken another look at this and we are offering Maurice his job back,” a spokesman for Home Depot told The Hill.
Rucker told the NBC station a customer approached his register on Thursday with a dog without a leash.
The 60-year-old said he told the unknown customer: “Sir, when you have your dog in here we prefer that you keep it on a leash.'”
But in response, Rucker said the other man told him: “F— you. You’re an asshole, you’re a piece of shit.”
Rucker said the shocking response was just the beginning of a rant filled with insults, including some he says were racist.
“If Trump wasn’t president, you wouldn’t even have a job,” the man said, according to Rucker’s account to the local station. “He said, ‘You’re from the ghetto, what do you know?’ ”
Rucker, who had been working with the company for 10 years and had just been named “Cashier of the Month” earlier this month, said he spoke up because he wasn’t going to stand for the customer’s racist insults.
Rucker then said he asked the man to leave the store and told him: “You’re lucky I’m at work, because if I wasn’t, this wouldn’t be happening, or you wouldn’t be talking to me like this.”
The company’s decision arrives as it continues to face backlash over terminating Rucker.
Albany’s Times Union reported that a protest was planned for Saturday morning outside the store that fired Rucker.
Rucker has not confirmed publicly whether he plans to accept the offer and said earlier this week he is considering taking legal action against the company.
The incident is the latest in a string of other racially charged confrontations, many of which were filmed, that have gone viral over the past months.
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