An Iowa woman who was fired from her factory job for saying she hates “fucking Mexicans” is claiming she should be able to collect unemployment benefits because her remark shouldn’t be considered misconduct that would disqualify her. The reason? She says it was normal for people to say things like that at work since President Donald Trump was elected.
An administrative law judge had agreed with that reasoning, saying that Angela Diers shouldn’t have been singled out if other people were also making comments about hating foreigners and black people.
“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,” ALJ Beth Scheetz said in her ruling.
“It was 7 o’clock in the morning, or 6:30 in the morning, and here’s Lindsey, dancing and singing Mexican,” Diers reportedly said at a hearing. “It’s, like, ‘What are you doing?’ And then she said something about Cinco de Mayo. And that’s when I said I hated Mexicans.”
“She just kind of looked at me,” Diers said. “I go, ‘’’m sorry, Lindsey, if you don’t like what I said, but I’m not a Mexican fan.'”
Diers was fired a few days later, but didn’t see what the big deal was.
“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.”
Diers later tried to justify her comment by saying she only hated “illegal Mexicans,” but the Appeals Board didn’t think that made things any better. The Board wasn’t swayed by that, saying it still constituted misconduct.
“Her clarification that she only meant ‘illegal’ Mexicans does not absolve her of culpability,” they said.
Diers now plans on appealing the Appeals Board’s decision in federal district court.
[Image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images]