Deaf woman sues Taco Bell for discrimination

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A Deaf Woman Is Suing Taco Bell for Discrimination

A New Jersey woman who is deaf is suing the Taco Bell Corp. for discrimination.

According to court documents obtained by Eater, Gina Cirrincione says she was "refused service and treated rudely by Taco Bell employees" at two of the fast-food chain's locations in the state.

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In her lawsuit, Cirrincione says she mostly communicates using sign language. Back in January, when she tried to use the drive-thru at a Taco Bell in Pleasantville, New Jersey, she handed an employee at the pick-up window a piece of paper with her order written on it.

The court documents claim the manager then "berated" her for her actions, later telling her she would not be served in the future if she used the drive-thru again.

Then in March, Cirrincione went through a drive-thru at an Atlantic City Taco Bell. She again tried to give her order on a piece of paper but this time says the note was just handed back to her and her order wasn't processed. When she went inside the Taco Bell, she says the employees ignored her.

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SCOTUS Muslim woman Abercrombie discrimination
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Samantha Elauf (C), her mother Majda Elauf (L) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission General Counsel David Lopes leave the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Elauf filed a charge of religious discrimination with the EEOC saying Abercrombie & Fitch violated discrimination laws in 2008 by declining to hire her because she wore a head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Samantha Elauf of Tulsa, Oklahoma, appears outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Elauf filed a charge of religious discrimination with the EEOC saying Abercrombie & Fitch violated discrimination laws in 2008 by declining to hire her because she wore a head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Majda Elauf (C with grey scarf) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is surrounded by journalists as they interview her daughter, Samantha Elauf, outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Elauf filed a charge of religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying Abercrombie & Fitch violated discrimination laws in 2008 by declining to hire her because she wore a head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Lauren Schreiber (L) and Umna Khan join other supporters from The Council on American-Islamic Relations during a news conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Samantha Elauf of Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed a charge of religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying Abercrombie & Fitch violated discrimination laws in 2008 by declining to hire her because she wore a head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Samantha Elauf (C), her mother Majda Elauf (2nd R) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission General Counsel David Lopez (R) leave the U.S. Supreme Court after the court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Elauf filed a charge of religious discrimination with the EEOC saying Abercrombie & Fitch violated discrimination laws in 2008 by declining to hire her because she wore a head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Cirrincione's lawsuit cites two different laws that protect people with disabilities from discrimination by businesses: the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Taco Bell hasn't commented on the lawsuit, but Cirrincione is asking for punitive and compensatory damages.

The Mexican fast-food chain has been sued for discrimination before.

In 2014, longtime employee Juanita O'Connell said she was fired after she complained that her supervisor told her to not hire Hispanic people.

O'Connell filed a federal lawsuit and asked for damages for racial discrimination and civil rights violations.

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