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US Government Suing Starbucks For Firing Employee Because Of Her Dwarfism

May 18, 2011

I’d like to thank the US Government for showing so much sensitivity in this case. I hope their attempt to sue Starbucks is successful. On a lighter note, I’ve always preferred Costa anyway! Now I just have a very good reason not to go to Starbucks.

Starbucks is being sued by the US government for firing a dwarf from her barista job in El Paso, Texas, after she asked for a stool or small stepladder to help her carry out her duties.

Starbucks denied Elsa Sallard’s request and fired her from her barista job the same day, claiming the employee could pose a danger to customers and workers.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which filed the lawsuit on Monday, said the coffee company violated federal law by denying the employee, who was hired in July 2009 and let go after three days of training, a reasonable accommodation.

‘Starbucks has become a virtual icon of modern American culture, appealing to an incredibly diverse customer base,’ Robert Canino, a commission lawyer in Dallas, said in a statement.

‘We’d hope that when considering hiring a person with a disability, Starbucks would choose to enhance its brand with the mark of equal opportunity and access.’

Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum commented that the woman was given her job on a trial basis. After three days, the El Paso store manager decided the work was too physically demanding for her to carry out.

‘Using the stool in that environment just wasn’t a reasonable accommodation in that store,’ she explained.

The EEOC, which tried and failed to reach an out of court settlement with Starbucks, is seeking lost wages and compensatory damages for Ms Sallard, as well as a court order that Starbucks adopt policies to correct and prevent disability discrimination.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2011 9:18 pm

    Can you even get Costa in the USA?

    I don’t like Starbucks coffee either, though — their lattes in particular taste of whatever you add (like sugar and cinnamon usually in my case). I can’t taste any evidence of coffee.

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  1. Starbucks Pays £45,000 For Sacking Employee Because Of Dwarfism « Same Difference

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