Black Lives Matter

Ex-Whataburger Worker Files Lawsuit Over Firing For Wearing BLM Mask

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A former Whataburger employee filed a lawsuit against the restaurant Thursday over her firing a year ago for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask.

It happened during the height of last summer's racial protests.

Ma'Kiya Congious worked at the Whataburger on Brentwood Stair Road in Fort Worth and wore a "Black Lives Matter" mask.

When a white customer complained, she says her manager told her she had to wear an approved generic mask.

"I'm not going to be quiet. Not for Whataburger. Not for anybody,” Congious said.

She tried to quit but was fired.

She recorded the conversation with her manager.

"You know what? We accept it and you don't have to come back at all,” the manager told her.

The manager also called police.

Now, Congious is filing a lawsuit against Whataburger in Dallas County District Court, where Whataburger’s regional office is located.

The suit claims racial discrimination because other employees were allowed to wear other masks that were not part of the official uniform.

"Our world last year was really going through a lot with racial things going on,” Congious said. “I didn't see anything wrong with it. I'm a Black African American. My life does matter and so do other lives and so does my son."

Congious just now started working at a fast-food sandwich shop, which has no problem with her wearing a BLM mask, she said.

"Nobody knows how we feel until they're actually in our shoes," she said.

Congious said part of the reason she filed the lawsuit is so that her one-year-old son will grow up in a better world.

"He's going to look back on this and say 'wow, OK, now I get it,'” she said.

Whataburger did not respond to an inquiry about the lawsuit but at the time issued a statement saying it supports racial equality but was simply trying to enforce its uniform policy.

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