Ron Schneider, the owner of Leon’s, says his policy has been around for years, and it doesn’t appear that it is hurting his business.
Leon’s is located near 27th and Oklahoma on Milwaukee’s south side.
Schneider told FOX6 News his employees can only speak English on the job.
“Hey, c`mon! It is America. We`ve spoken English for a long, long time,” Schneider said.
The issue came to a head when a Leon’s customer placed an order in Spanish.
The Leon’s employee whispered in Spanish, “I`m not allowed to speak Spanish to you”.
Another customer heard the conversation and placed placed his order in Spanish. The Leon’s employee gave him the same response.
The incident took on a life of its when when the incident was reported over social media with many attacking the policy and many others applauding Leon’s.
However, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is one group that is not applauding Leon’s and is calling for a federal investigation into Leon’s Frozen Custard’s English only policy.
Schneider however stands by the policy and ratcheted up the rhetoric by saying:
“If you don’t want to be on the same page, you must continue to watch the country erode and descend into third world status,” said Schneider, during an interview with TODAY’S TMJ4.
Mundomax Wisconsin spoke with Schneider who informed Mundomax that he only has two employees that speak Spanish.
The policy is something that LULAC says is in violation of federal law.
“We learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law. Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” LULAC officials said in a written statement.
LULAC is an organization with a mission to “advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States,” the release states.
Below is a statement from LULAC of Wisconsin State Director Dr. Arturo Martinez:
“In the last 24 hours, LULAC of Wisconsin has received numerous requests to investigate the issue of workplace policy as it pertains to language at Leon’s Frozen Custard located at 3131 S. 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While many of us consider this as a community institution, it was surprising when we learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law. Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law is clear on this issue and offers few exceptions. In the meantime, we encourage management to review their current employment policies with counsel to bring them into compliance. We are confident that in doing so, it will lead to a stronger business and a stronger community.”