Starbucks Ordered to Pay $25M to Ex-Employee in Racial Discrimination Case

Starbucks ordered to pay $25m to ex-employee in racial discrimination case

A federal jury in New Jersey has ordered Starbucks to pay $25.6 million to a former employee who was fired after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks Philadelphia branch in 2018.

Shannon Phillips, a white woman, was the shift supervisor at the Starbucks store in Rittenhouse Square when Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for trespassing. The men had not ordered anything but were waiting for a friend.

Phillips called the police after Nelson and Robinson refused to leave the store. The men were eventually released without charges.

Phillips was fired by Starbucks after the incident. She sued the company, alleging that she was fired because of her race.

A jury found in Phillips’s favor on Tuesday. The jury awarded her $600,000 in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

has said that it plans to appeal the verdict.

The case drew national attention and led to a public apology from CEO Kevin Johnson. The company also closed all of its stores for a day of racial bias training.

The jury’s verdict is a significant victory for Phillips and a setback for Starbucks. It is also a reminder of the ongoing problem of racial discrimination in the United States.

Background

The incident that led to Phillips’s firing occurred on April 12, 2018. Nelson and Robinson entered the Starbucks store in Rittenhouse Square and sat down at a table without ordering anything. They were waiting for a friend who was running late.

Phillips, who was the shift supervisor at the time, asked Nelson and Robinson to leave the store. They refused, saying that they were not doing anything wrong. Phillips then called the police.

The police arrived and arrested Nelson and Robinson for trespassing. They were eventually released without charges.

Phillips’s Firing

Phillips was fired by Starbucks after the incident. She sued the company, alleging that she was fired because of her race.

Phillips’s lawsuit alleged that Starbucks had a “pattern and practice” of discriminating against black employees. The lawsuit also alleged that Starbucks had a “zero tolerance” policy for racial discrimination that was not enforced fairly.

Jury’s Verdict

A jury found in Phillips’s favor on Tuesday. The jury awarded her $600,000 in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

The jury’s verdict is a significant victory for Phillips and a setback for Starbucks. It is also a reminder of the ongoing problem of racial discrimination in the United States.

Starbucks’s Response

Starbucks has said that it plans to appeal the verdict. The company has also said that it is “disappointed” with the jury’s decision.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has said that the company is “committed to creating a culture of belonging and inclusion.” He has also said that the company is “working hard to ensure that all of our employees feel safe and respected.”

The Case’s Impact

The case has had a significant impact on Starbucks. The company has been forced to confront its own history of racial discrimination. It has also been forced to make changes to its policies and procedures in order to address the problem of racial discrimination.

The case has also had a broader impact on the country. It has sparked a national conversation about racial discrimination and the need for change. It has also inspired other people who have experienced racial discrimination to come forward and share their stories.

The case is a reminder that racial discrimination is still a problem in the United States. It is also a reminder that people who experience racial discrimination should not be afraid to speak out.

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