Starbucks Sued for Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination

May 18, 2011

According to a recent news release that our Riverside employment attorneys have been following, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a Starbucks coffee store for disability discrimination after the management fired a disabled job trainee who asked for the reasonable accommodation to stand on a stool and perform her job functions as a barista--because she is a dwarf.

The federal lawsuit, filed this week, stated that Elsa Sallard's employment was terminated after only three days of job training, after she asked for a small stool to help her to perform her necessary job functions. Starbucks reportedly disregarded her request and determined that due to her disability, standing on a stool while working would pose a risk to coworkers and customers. Sallard was allegedly fired on the same day that she requested accommodation.

Under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) it is illegal for employers to discriminate against qualified employees who have disabilities, in hiring, firing, job training and other terms and conditions of employment. Employers are required by the ADA to make reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, as long as the employee request does not pose an undue hardship.

According to the EEOC, Starbucks was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act by refusing to provide Sallard with either a small stepladder, or a stool as a reasonable accommodation.

In the disability discrimination lawsuit, agency is seeking lost wages and monetary damages for Sallard, along with a court order that asks Starbucks to prevent this kind of disability discrimination from happening in the future.

At Howard Law, PC, our Santa Ana employment lawyers are knowledgeable about workplace disability discrimination in cities throughout Orange County. Contact us today, for a free consultation about your rights.

Starbucks Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, May 16, 2011

Starbucks gets federal lawsuit for firing a dwarf, ABCLocal/AP, May 16, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

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

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

Jewel-Osco Agrees to Pay $3.2 Million in EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 6, 2011