Waitress Says She Was Fired For Tea Party Bracelet

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) — A Crystal Lake waitress says she lost her job because she wore a Tea Party bracelet to work.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, Megan Geller, 23, tells the Northwest Herald she wears the bracelet with the words “Don’t Tread on Me,” the phrase that appears beneath the iconic snake on the yellow Gadsden flag, and which is often seen and heard at Tea Party rallies.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

Geller tells the newspaper a couple she was serving at the local Outback Steakhouse took offense and complained.

Geller said her mother, Tonya Franklin, got the bracelet at a Tea Party event, and a couple dining at the restaurant did not like it and asked for the manager, the Northwest Herald reported.

After Geller was fired, a group rallied in front of the Outback Steakhouse, waving American and Gadsden flags and accusing the restaurant of violating her free speech rights, the Northwest Herald reported.

Company officials tell a different story. They say Geller was inattentive to diners at two tables and say that if the bracelet had been a problem, managers would have told her to remove it, the newspaper reported.

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