Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Did Starbucks Fire An Employee For Being Gay?

A disturbing story coming from a Long Island Starbucks, where a NY mom Missy Alison relates a conversation overheard which devolved into the on-the-spot firing of a gay man

In a confrontation that she describes as "one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia" she had ever seen, she states that the manager of the store dressed down the employee, stating that his politics and orientation were offensive to his coworkers.  She then fired him on the spot and continued on a homophobic tirade for a full five minutes, all in front of Alison's three year old daughter.

After the employee, who as far as we know is named Jeffrey, excused himself to cry in the bathroom, the woman then stated:

“I’m done. I’m done. Nobody wants to hear it anymore. I don’t care who he is dating. I don’t want to hear about it.

“He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned gay yesterday.

“I used to listen to it, now I’m just sick of hearing about it.

“Nobody does, but it’s over now. You won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

Starbucks responded to the allegation in a statement that follows:

"At Starbucks, we pride ourselves on being a great place to work. We are deeply dedicated to our core values – to embrace diversity and treat each other with respect and dignity. We’re committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for everyone. Moreover, we look for ways in which we can honor and celebrate the diversity of our partners as they, too, represent the communities that are home to our stores.

"We are disheartened by the allegations reported in an East Coast Starbucks store and are taking immediate measures to investigate and take any steps necessary to make this right. The actions reported do not correspond with our values, who we are as a company or the beliefs we try to instill in our partners.

"Starbucks has supported the LGBT community for many years, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We have one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for LGBT employees in the United States helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities in which we live and work. Our benefits program has always offered domestic partner benefits in the United States and Canada, and Starbucks partners actively participate and organize local LGBT events in their communities. We’re also very proud of the 100% score we received on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. We will continue to work very closely with this organization and others on topics relevant to the community."

Starbucks has refused to release details of any disciplinary action that may have been taken against the management of the store.

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