Taco Bell sued by former manager who says she was told to not hire Latinos

Taco Bell is accused of firing a longtime Mexican-American employee after a supervisor admonished her, saying "Didn't I tell you not to hire Hispanics?"

Juanita O'Connell, a 27-year veteran of the Mexican fast-food chain, alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was terminated and discriminated against because she complained about the comment made by her boss.

The 60-year-old woman from Indianapolis says she was the general manager of an area Taco Bell who started working for the chain in 1987.

A message left with Taco Bell's corporate office by the Daily News was not immediately returned.

According to the federal lawsuit, O'Connell claims she was told by a district manager to not hire Hispanics during a visit to her restaurant, Courthouse News Servicereported this week.

After O'Connell went over the district manager's head to complain about his remarks, she was fire, the suit says.

She was terminated for not properly vetting the immigration status of an employee, she alleges.

O'Connell is seeking lost wages and damages for civil rights violations and racial and gender discrimination.