Whataburger employee says she was ordered to clean the floor with a toothbrush

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by RUCKS RUSSELL

KHOU

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 1 at 3:21 PM

HOUSTON -- Whitney Clark has been overweight since she was just a young girl. And she said over the years, she’s heard a lot of fat jokes and insults -- but none quite like the ones she’s heard at a Whataburger restaurant in Houston.

”I just let it get to me because you hear it over and over and over,” she said.

Clark said the mean words came from none other than her managers at this Whataburger where she works as a cook. But what came next was something far more humiliating.

“She said we’ve got to get on our hands and knees and clean the floor with a toothbrush,” said Clark.

Clark’s mother shot cell phone video of her daughter working on the floors through the window. She expressed disbelief over what her daughter had been ordered to do.

Clark said she was on her hands and knees for four long hours, cleaning the dining room floor, and the floors in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.

“And the worst part was I didn’t even think to put gloves on and they didn’t even have the gloves out,” said Clark.

Clark said she injured her knees. She filed a workman’s comp claim and has also lodged a complaint with the EEOC.

A Whataburger spokesperson said Clark was not given a toothbrush to clean the floors but rather a tile and grout hand brush. Caitlin Cooch with Whataburger released the following statement:

“One of our Core Values at Whataburger is to treat others with respect. We also pride ourselves in providing a safe and clean working environment. Therefore we ask all of our employees at all levels to participate in keeping our restaurants clean for our customers. Cleaning with proper cleaning equipment is standard operating procedure for all our restaurants."

Clark walks with a slight limp now. She expects her physical pain to vanish long before she can recover from the emotional pain caused by her restaurant task.

“It makes me feel so disgusted,” said Clark.

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