Egypt Mayo said heat exhaustion forced her to quit her job at the International House of Pancakes location on Wolf Road in Albany.
“I was vomiting, I was sick; I went home early, I came back that morning, and they let me know that I would be working outside again,” Mayo said. “That’s when I took the video and I left.
“Nobody can work seven hours outside in 90-degree weather.”
Mayo says over the past week, she and a handful of other employees worked their entire shifts outside under a pop-up tent. In a video that’s now gone viral, Mayo pointed out the irregularities she saw.
“Look at all the Black employees in the hot sun, and look at the white employees in the A/C,” Mayo can be heard saying in the video.
Mayo claims that the curbside system was set in place last Tuesday by a manager in training, as a new measure to lessen foot traffic in the restaurant due to COVID-19.
She says since then, rotations among other employees appeared disproportionate.
“She [the manager] said the reason why she put the Black people out there every day is because we are ‘good at it,’ ” Mayo said.
Spectrum News went to the franchise location Monday afternoon and asked one of the managers on duty about the allegations. The manager on duty declined to answer, directing us to their media relations department.
A spokesperson for the local franchisee responded in an email, saying that, “out of an abundance of caution,” employees will now work the curbside pick-up from the entryway, adding that the video does not reflect the standards, values, or diversity of the restaurant’s brand.
Mayo, 20, says she wished the managers of that franchise would have been more sensitive to the situation beforehand.
“Either you’re going to be mindful or you’re carelessly being racist, period,” she added.