Starbucks Agrees to Pay $75K in Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement

August 23, 2011

In a recent Costa Mesa employment lawyers blog, our attorneys discussed a current dwarfism and disability discrimination lawsuit filed against Starbucks, after the coffee giant was accused of wrongfully terminating a disabled job trainee with dwarfism who asked for reasonable accommodation in order to perform her barista job functions.

Last week Starbucks reportedly agreed to settle the disability discrimination lawsuit, brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), by agreeing to pay $75,000 and other significant relief to Elsa Sallard--the employee who was allegedly denied the opportunity to work for Starbucks due to her disability.

According to the lawsuit, Sallard applied to work as a Starbucks barista after the job description stated that no prior experience was necessary. During the job orientation, Sallard, who is physically small due to dwarfism, reportedly asked if she could use a small stool or stepladder in order to help her perform some of the barista job functions that included serving customers and preparing orders. The Starbucks manager reportedly denied the request for reasonable accommodation and terminated her employment on the same day, citing that Sallard would pose a threat or potential danger to other employees and customers.

As our Carson labor and employment lawyers have discussed previously, under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), it is illegal for employers to discriminate against qualified individuals who have disabilities in hiring, employment training, firing and other terms and conditions of employment. Employers are required by the ADA to reasonably accommodate disabled employees, only if the worker's request does create an undue hardship on the employer's business operations.

According to the EEOC, Starbucks violated the ADA by denying Sallard the use of a stepladder, or a small step stool as a reasonable accommodation.

Under the two-year consent decree terms, that settled the disability discrimination lawsuit, Starbucks will pay Sallard $75,000 in monetary relief, and will provide ADA training for all employees in managerial or supervisorial positions in all of El Paso Starbucks locations, focusing specifically on the reasonable accommodation with disabled employees.

Call our team of attorneys and professionals at Howard Law, PC today for a free consultation about reasonable accommodation in the workplace and your Orange County, California labor and employment rights. To set up a free meeting, please contact us online or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.

Starbucks To Pay $75,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit, EEOC Press Release, August 18, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Related Blog Posts:

Federal Government Aims to Increase Employment for Disabled People on ADA Anniversary, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 4, 2011

Verizon's Class Action Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settles for $20 Million, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 11, 2011

BP One Stop Sued For Discriminating Against Disabled Employee, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 16, 2011

AutoZone to Pay $600K for Disability Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 10, 2011

Starbucks Sued for Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2011

EEOC Latex Disability Lawsuit Settled--John Muir Pays Workers $340K, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 17, 2011

California Governor Celebrates 20th Anniversary of ADA with Disability Initiative, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 6, 2010