Starbucks settles dicrimination lawsuit

Aug. 21, 2011 at 10:46 PM
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EL PASO, Texas, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Starbucks Coffee Co. has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit and will be paying $75,000 to a woman born with dwarfism, a federal agency said.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit against Starbucks for allegedly denying Elsa Sallard, who has dwarfism, reasonable accommodations and firing her from an El Paso, Texas, location. The agency said in a release Thursday that Starbucks had violated Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The EEOC says that during an orientation, Sallard suggested she could use a stool to more easily perform some of the tasks of the job. On the same day, Sallard was fired on grounds that she would put customers and employees in "danger."

Starbucks agreed to pay $75,000 to Sallard and aged to provide ADA training for all managers and supervisory Starbucks employees.

"Starbucks swift action to work constructively with the EEOC in this case, not only by compensating the applicant who was turned away, but by committing to additional training for  other stores in the El Paso area, sends the right signal from the corporate office," said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC's Dallas District Office. "The Starbucks customer environment is one  that is often considered comfortable and progressive. By fostering that same environment for people  behind the counter, Starbucks reinforces a positive public image."

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