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Ex-Starbucks employee accuses the company of sexual harassment

Coffee lovers everywhere may be surprised to hear the accusations being made about Starbucks. The company synonymous with coffee in Texas and across the across the United States is being accused of sexual harassment by one of its former baristas. As an early riser, the woman noted that working the early shift would be a great fit for her. She loved working for the company and enjoyed the customers, but she said all of that changed once a new manager was appointed.

She claims the inappropriate treatment began with insults, such as being called retarded because she burned herself on coffee and had difficulty finding the first aid kit. Her situation allegedly escalated when her manager is said to have grabbed her and forcefully held her for no reason. She said that it happened on three occasions. She started to dislike coming to work and began to question if it was going to happen again or if it was happening to anyone else.

The plaintiff allegedly explained the situation to the corporate office and told the company it could review the surveillance footage to prove her statements. Additionally, she apparently tried to set up a meeting with her district manager to address what happened but says the manage never came. She claims she heard back from the corporate office and was told there were no recordings and due to a lack of evidence, her complaint was considered closed.

The plaintiff believes that the footage was erased to cover up her sexual harassment complaint. She was fired two months later. According to Starbucks, it takes these types of claims very seriously, but it believes the woman's claims are unfounded. Texas workers who find themselves in similar situations should immediately report the activity according to company protocol. When evidence documents sexual harassment in the workplace, aggrieved victims could be awarded monetary damages by successfully pursuing a claim in civil court.

Source: 10news.com, "Chula Vista woman sues Starbucks for sexual harassment", Cristin Severance, Feb. 2, 2015

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