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Starbucks employee sues former employee, alleging discrimination and hostile working environment

Starbucks employee sues former employee, alleging discrimination and hostile working environment

On Monday, an ex employee filed an Modified complaintIn the Southern District of Texas against Starbucks, Inc. Ind, Starbucks Corporation, and Starbucks Coffee Company. They claim discrimination based on race, religion, disability, and hostile work environment.

According to the complaint the plaintiff is a Houston resident and has worked part-time at Starbucks from 2008 until his termination in 2020. According to the complaint, he is a Black, Jewish, man with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. He states that while working at Starbucks he received mostly satisfactory-to-excellent performance reviews and at least 6 merit raises during his tenure until 2019. In addition, the complaint states the plaintiff worked as a barista from 2013 to receive numerous accolades and achievements such as Coffee Master and Trainee.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was informed by his coworkers that a new district manager would soon be taking over. He was then assigned to work at a Houston Starbucks. Plaintiff claims that at this Starbucks location, non-white and/or darker skinned workers, including himself were treated worse than white workers. This resulted in unjust write-ups, enforcement policies, and scrutiny. The plaintiff also claims that he was subject to harassment and discrimination because of his disability.

Plaintiff states that the disparate treatment on September 13, 2019 created such hostile working environments that he felt it was necessary for him to document the blatant abuse. He claims that he was denied a mandatory work break on September 13, 2019, despite all other workers receiving breaks after months of being publicly yelled at by management.

Further, the plaintiff stated that he filed a complaint to the corporate office against his managers on December 19, 2019.

The plaintiff claims that he met with his managers on January 20, 2020 to discuss the complaint. However, the complaint was not resolved and instead, the managers began retaliating towards him for allegedly filing a false complaint. The complaint states that his manager filed a retaliatory corrective motion against him. He then reached out to the corporate offices to discuss the discrimination. Plaintiff claims that he was promised a probe into the discrimination, but he never received any results.

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Plaintiff claims that he was constantly harassed by his employer and that his depression and anxiety got worsened. He requested ADA accommodations and a transfer from one location to another. He was eventually transferred to another location in the summer of 2020. However, his hours were reduced and he received the same disparate treatment. On October 15, 2020, he claimed that he was fired because he had his partner in the backroom. However, the policy prohibiting family members from being present in the backroom is not being enforced against any other employees. He claims that he was fired in retaliation to his complaints about discrimination at Starbucks. He stated that he appealed his termination, alleging discrimination again, but was denied by the Starbucks Senior HR Manager.

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit alleging discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment. The plaintiff seeks back, front, and compensatory damages. The plaintiff is represented Coane and Associates PLLC.

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