Monday, February 4, 2013
A well known auto care business in Wichita has been shut down after allegations an employee made racist comments to an American-born customer of Indian descent.
We are not identifying either the customer nor the employee at the center of this controversy, but we have spoken with the customer to confirm the story. The ordeal is being regarded as so bad, the corporate Jiffy Lube offices closed the store near 21st and Woodlawn today while they investigate.
What started as a comment chiding the customer for "not buying the hemi" turned into much more, according to an email we obtained from the customer himself. He wrote to the Jiffy Lube corporate office that an employee threatened his and his girlfriend's lives, all while calling them extremely vulgar racial names.
Jiffy Lube responded on their nationwide Facebook page once the story started spreading. On Saturday, the company posted the following message:
"We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and take these comments very seriously. We have contacted the franchisee and are conducting a thorough investigation."
Then later that same day, Jiffy Lube posted again:
"We are in communication with the appropriate franchisee and the following actions have been taken. 1.) The Wichita, KS, store is now temporarily closed pending the results of an investigation. 2.) Stu Crum, President of Jiffy Lube International, has contacted the customer to offer our apologies and support.
Today, Jiffy Lube announced publicly that the employee at the center of the controversy had been terminated.
The customer himself then posted on Jiffy Lube's Facebook page, thanking the company for taking "swift action to remedy the situation."
The story is clearly having a widespread impact as word spread quickly on the company's national Facebook page, with presumably hundreds of thousands of likes. For now, the Jiffy Lube at 21st and Woodlawn remains closed until further notice. There was no sign on the front door explaining why the business was closed.