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Texas Roadhouse employee claims she was sent home for speaking Spanish

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MODESTO, Calif. - An employee at a popular restaurant says she feels like she was mistreated by management.

"I don't feel like I'm going to be treated equally as everyone else," Sara Hernandez told FOX40.

Hernandez works at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Modesto, California and says her frustration stems from an incident with a manager.

She says she was speaking to a co-worker in Spanish when she was approached by a manager.

"[The manager] said, you're being defiant... by going against her, saying not to speak Spanish," she said.

Hernandez says she was sent home on Monday after speaking in her native tongue.

"Why am I getting sent home?' And she said, 'The language.' And I said, 'What about my language?' She said, 'Spanish. You speaking Spanish," Hernandez remembers.

However, Texas Roadhouse says that is not the reason Hernandez was reprimanded.

Instead, the company says "they celebrate the diverse range of languages spoken by their employees."  Company officials say Hernandez was sent home "after she was repeatedly asked to stop socializing and to focus on the restaurant's guests."

Hernandez disagrees, saying there were no customers in the restaurant at the time of the incident.

Texas Roadhouse says Hernandez is still an employee and was sent home with pay on Monday.