A McDonald’s restaurant in Norway could be in a lot of trouble after they reportedly told a blind woman to leave because she was accompanied by her guide dog.
Fredrikstad resident Tina Marie Asikainen wrote on Facebook to complain that she and her five-year-old daughter were forced to leave the fast food outlet in tears by five employees “loudly asking me to go”.
Just like in the UK, it’s against the law in Norway for restaurant owners to discriminate against or deny access to a disabled customer who is accompanied by a guide dog.
Ms Asikainen told Norwegian news website NRK that she tried to visit McDonald’s on Friday with her black Labrador Rex, who was clearly wearing a fluorescent harness marked “guide dog” (that probably should have been the staff’s first clue).
We had Rex with us when we ordered food. But after two minutes, before we had eaten the food, one of the employees came and asked us to leave because we had a dog.
She tried to explain that Rex was a guide dog and even showed her handler’s identity card to staff but they weren’t having any of it.
They were not interested in reading it. There must have been twenty customers there watching while five employees loudly asked me to go. I started to cry, which isn’t something I often do.
Writing on Facebook, Ms Asikainen said she called the police, who arrived and “rebuked” the staff, but added that it was “such a bad experience, I was completely in tears, it was so embarrassing”. Police expect Ms Asikainen to press charges.
In a statement to the AFP news agency, Kathrine Moe, a press officer for McDonald’s in Norway, said:
If this is true we regret it, for this certainly isn’t what is supposed to happen.