Photo: teague c via flickr
Starbucks is known for treating its employees well — providing health insurance to part-time workers, calling everyone “partners” and paying a decent wage.But the service industry can be brutal, and as with any industry, its managers can be unprofessional. We’ve compiled a list of the most shocking ways some Starbucks employees have been let go.
Have your own story about being fired from Starbucks or any other giant chain? Tell us in the comments or send an email to [email protected]
An employee was fired after requesting a stool to perform her job duties because Starbucks claimed that she 'could be a danger to customers and workers,' according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The barista -- who happens to be a dwarf -- was hired in July 2009 and terminated after three days of training at the El Paso location.
The U.S. EEOC filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for denying 'reasonable accommodation' to an employee.
A former Toronto employee was fired on the day he was suppose to begin his management training after venting about his manager on a personal blog.
After six years of working for Starbucks, Matthew Brown wrote about how a manager refused to let him go home sick. He claims he did not use his supervisor's real name.
A former employee was fired after refusing to ask customers for their names in adhering to Starbucks' name-marking standard.
The employee said she refused to ask for names after hearing about a man who attacked a woman by pretending to know her after hearing her name said aloud at a Starbucks.
Benjamin Amos had been happily employed at a Sherman, Texas-based Starbucks for seven years when his store manager asked him to resign: apparently the regional and district managers didn't like his body art. Amos refused -- saying his tattoos predated his tenure at Starbucks -- and he was fired within a couple of days.
Two weeks later, the district manager phoned Amos to apologise for the 'handling' of his termination.
The former employee filed a discrimination lawsuit against the coffee chain in 2010 claiming violations of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 2008, Cole Dorsey was fired after attempting to organise a barista union to promote stable work schedules in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The next year, the Seattle-based coffee chain settled a complaint filed on Dorsey's behalf by the National labour Relations Board.
The first barista union was created in 2004 at a New York City Starbucks with complaints of low starting wages and irregular hours.
Christine Drake received extra training and support for her bipolar disorder while she worked as a barista in a Seattle location for more than two years. Then suddenly, new management came in and fired her.
In 2006, she got the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission behind her to sue Starbucks for discrimination and berating her in front of customers, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Starbucks reportedly agreed to pay Drake $75,000, give $10,000 to the Disability Rights Legal centre, and train managers about unconstitutional discrimination.
Two Indo-Canadian women were dismissed for refusing to remove their nose rings, which violates Starbucks' dress code policy forbidding pierced jewelry or ornaments on the faces of staffers.
Benita Singh and Aisha Syed filed complaints with B.C. Human Rights Tribunal stating that nose jewelry is a symbolic part of their Indian culture and that they both wore their studs when initially hired.
Singh was fired from a Vancouver location, and Syed from a Richmond outlet, where she worked for more than three years.
A former barista was terminated after selling some leftover 'partner-markout' coffee on eBay.
Entitled to one pound of free coffee weekly during her employment at a Toronto location, the former employee found herself with bags of leftover beans and decided to sell the coffee -- along with a bag of Tazo Chai mix she bought from another store -- online.
Starbucks quickly found out and 'came in like the police,' requesting the once-barista to write a letter explaining her actions before leaving.
Xan Gordan was fired after shutting off Wi-Fi capabilities to refrain customers from using the free Internet to access pornography.
Gordan claimed he consulted management, checked the employee handbook and spoke to customers before deciding to pull the plug on free Internet at an Atlanta location.
Shortly after, Starbucks decided to pull the plug on Gordan's employment.
The former employee of three years believes the reason behind his termination wasn't from shutting off the Wi-Fi, but for his union activism.
On July 20, 2011, a letter was delivered to a New York City Starbucks' store manager announcing an employee's membership with the IWW Starbucks Workers Union.
The next day, Tiffany White was ordered to attend a meeting with upper management where she was promised that a union representative and her attorney would be allowed to accompany her.
Instead, she was refused representation and fired on the spot.
Several black workers have filed complaints with the Oregon Bureau of labour and Industries saying they were improperly treated while working at the Tazo Tea Company owned by Starbucks.
Four confirmed black workers fired from the Southeast Portland factory claimed that their dismissal was unfair when compared to their white co-workers, according to The Skanner News.
The complaint alleges that black employees are 'placed under closer scrutiny than any other employees at the plant.'
Two former employees filed a suit against Starbucks in 2008 for harassment.
Both Joseph Hooks and Dorothy Baker reported under the same director of compliance and equal opportunity and said their superior made several inappropriate remarks and references at them during their employment.
Hooks was told he couldn't go to lunch with his superior and another employee because 'just the boys are going to lunch,' according to the suit.
Hooks also claims that it was announced to the rest of the company that he resigned when he had not.
Baker claims that the superior told her an inappropriate story about how he threw an HIV/AIDS-affected gay man 'through the wall' during an internship after graduate school.
When she complained about the director, she was immediately terminated.
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