Amid controversy over Leon’s “no Spanish” policy, Bounce Milwaukee offering free scoops of ice cream

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MILWAUKEE — Amid the controversy involving Leon’s Frozen Custard’s “no Spanish” policy, Bounce Milwaukee on Thursday, May 19th is offering a FREE scoop of Purple Door Ice Cream to anyone who stops by and orders in a foreign language.

Bounce Milwaukee is open from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, and is located on S. 5th Ct. near S. 6th Street in Milwaukee.

Leon’s Frozen Custard has an English-only policy — a policy some are questioning, and others are applauding. The policy has one group calling for a federal investigation.

Ron Schneider, the owner of Leon’s, says there’s nothing wrong with his policy, and it doesn’t appear that it is hurting his business.

Leon’s is located near 27th and Oklahoma on Milwaukee’s south side.

Leon's Frozen Custard

Leon’s Frozen Custard

“Most people that live here are Latino,” Jorge Maya said.

Leon’s Frozen Custard is a Milwaukee institution — but some Hispanics are upset over a company policy that was recently discovered.

“I don`t think I`m going to be back anytime soon,” Maya said.

This all started on Tuesday, May 17th, when Joey Sanchez overheard one of Leon’s employees interacting with a Spanish-speaking customer.

Joey Sanchez

Joey Sanchez

“She whispered to him in Spanish ‘I`m not allowed to speak Spanish to you,'” Sanchez said.

Sanchez was next in line. He also placed his order in Spanish. The employee gave him the same response.

“I`m trying to understand or find the why. I need to hear from him to hear why he has this policy,” Sanchez said.

Ron Schneider

Ron Schneider

Schneider told FOX6 News his employees can only speak English on the job.

“Hey, c`mon! It is America. We`ve spoken English for a long, long time,” Schneider said.

Schneider says the policy has been in place for a decade, and it has never been an issue.

“Any foreign language is going to be a problem. What I`m trying to avoid is when people come up here, get waited on in a different language because there happens to be an employee who speaks that language,” Schneider said.

Leon's Frozen Custard

Leon’s Frozen Custard

Sanchez said he feels Leon’s policy is just bad business.

“If they have the people who can speak Spanish and communicate with the customer better, why not?” Sanchez said.

Other customers said they side with Schneider.

Leon's Frozen Custard

Leon’s Frozen Custard

“We do live in America, you know?” Ryan Schmidt said.

Schneider says no customer has ever been turned away at Leon’s.

Leon's Frozen Custard

Leon’s Frozen Custard

“It`s going to get disruptive if we have to become bilingual, trilingual or anything else,” Schneider said.

FOX6 News asked Schneider if an employee would face disciplinary action if they spoke another language. He said they would expect a chat with the boss, but they likely wouldn’t be fired.

Schneider also pointed out that his wife is Hispanic.

The Leauge of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is calling for a federal investigation by the EEOC into the policy at Leon’s.

Below is a statement from LULAC of Wisconsin State Director Dr. Arturo Martinez:

“In the last 24 hours, LULAC of Wisconsin has received numerous requests to investigate the issue of workplace policy as it pertains to language at Leon’s Frozen Custard located at 3131 S. 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While many of us consider this as a community institution, it was surprising when we learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law. Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law is clear on this issue and offers few exceptions. In the meantime, we encourage management to review their current employment policies with counsel to bring them into compliance. We are confident that in doing so, it will lead to a stronger business and a stronger community.”

Leon's Frozen Custard

Leon’s Frozen Custard

15 comments

  • Honky

    Aw, hell no. I only speak english, this is more racist than anything. Fox6now better investigate this. Racist against english speaking people. I better tweet this to get attention!!

    • TED

      Fox6now better investigate themselves. This story was reported in English only. This reporting in English only is racist. Maybe the feds should look into this.

  • You Know Who You Are

    Why not support the old Mexican guy pushing the ice cream cart with his bucket hat and boots?

  • head hunter

    they try to get the feds involved in english only at leons, but yet now they sell ice cream to people who order in any thing but english, how is this different?BUILD THE WALL

  • Stan

    So, IF we dont speak a language other than SPANISH we dont get FREE scoop? I CALL RACIST AGAINST ENGLISH SPEAKING people! What is this world coming to SERIOUSLY! I guess I go to the grocery store and buy my own ice cream……

  • Michael Brown

    Once upon a time, people worried about moving product rather than movie product the “right” way. If I need to make rent, I will try to speak whatever I can to make a sale. Why cut out a market?

  • Brian

    Go and google “Klingon” then go to their ordering window. 🙂
    Seriously, the ice cream SHOULD be free, because it is tasteless crap. Stick with Leons!

  • Brian

    I do. I will tell you HOW to speak, WHEN to speak, WHERE to speak, WHEN to speak, and WHAT to say. Got it?

  • Speakit

    We live in America. Our language is English. It is offensive to me when people who speak both English and another language specifically choose the other language around me so that i can’t understand them. I find these people are more racist against white Americans than we are to them. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I do not go to other Countries and expect them to cater to me and my language. This feeling they they are entitled to things is just sad. Earn it. Learn English. Move on.

Comments are closed.