Friday, February 17, 2012

Starbucks Faces Workplace Discrimination Complaint after Slip and Fall Accident Claim

After a jury resolved on a slip-and-fall accident filed against Starbucks last December 2011, the latter is now facing further allegations concerning workplace discrimination, which occurred at one of their coffee chains in San Diego.

Allegedly, the half-armed applicant – Eli Pierre suffered employment discrimination due to his disability during a job interview.

The disability discrimination lawsuit was filed against Starbucks last February 8 before the office of Superior Court of the State of California in the County of San Diego.

In his lawsuit, Pierre claims that during his job interview for the barista position at Starbucks, he was not hired due to his disability. The hiring manager said that the chain’s syrups are stored up high. Therefore, Pierre can’t work at the chain with one arm alone.

Pierre further stated in his lawsuit that the interview, which took about 10 to 15 minutes, had shocked him and he felt offended after being discriminated based on his disability.

Starbucks dismissed Pierre’s application due to his appearance and disability without further investigation about the applicant’s capability.

Pierre was born with half of his left arm. He has been employed for more than eleven years and his job was often a bar tender and a waiter. He was fully capable in performing jobs like most people with two hands. Even his former employers attest to that.

Under Federal Employment and Housing Act, failure to hire and failure to reasonably accommodate disability is a violation of public policy.

Pierre is seeking for payment of all the statutory obligations and penalties as compelled by law such as punitive damages, legal fees, lost wages and others.

Starbucks through its spokesperson has denied the claims and showed its intent to respond to the lawsuit.

Employers will certainly oppose workplace discrimination claims filed by employees against them through attempting to produce  lawful reasons for the employment action. Pierre should make sure that his defense lawyer is familiar with the tricks that employers usually do.