After a man hit the cashier in a home depot in Albany, New York last Thursday, employee Maurice Rucker asked him to take him to leash dog. The man exploded.
Rucker, a 60-year-old black man, claimed he was fired on Tuesday after defending himself to a client who, he told Times Union, was conducting a racist tirade. But after the news media edited its story, the company changed its mind.
The customer allegedly responded to Rucker's request with insults.
"If Trump were not president, you would not even have a job," the customer said, after Rucker's retelling of NBC affiliate WNYT. "You're from the ghetto, what do you know?"
Rucker, who did not respond to a request for comment, said he had asked the man to run his dog so he could comply with the store policy. 19659007] The man replied with strong expressions until Rucker decided he had had enough.
"You're lucky I'm at work, because if I was not, you would not talk to me like that," said Rucker the client, according to the Times Union.
"I am a black man, and I have dealt with all levels of racism all my life," Rucker told Times Union columnist Chris Churchill. "I will not accept racist behavior at work, at home, on the street, or anywhere else."
Five days later he was released by Home Depot.
"Dismissing a black man to defend himself seems unfair." Rucker told Churchill, adding that he had been with the company for 10 years and had been named "Cashier of the Month" in July. Churchill ended his column by saying, "The cliché is wrong, the customer is not always right."
Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes told WNYT after Rucker's dismissal that the "problem" was that Rucker did not ask a manager have to deal with the situation.
"We are appalled at the behavior of the customer, but we must also demand that employees follow the proper protocol to defuse a situation in the interests of their safety and the safety of other employees and customers," Holmes said.
On Friday, the company changed its tone, telling The Washington Post that it "had a different look" and Rucker offered his job back.
"Our concern was that he did not let go of the management of a customer confrontation and alarmed," spokesman Matthew Harrigan told E-mail.
Home Depot said it would repay, but it's unclear whether Rucker accepted the offer.