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Starbucks To Pay $25 Million To Ex-Manager Who Was Fired For Being White

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Starbucks To Pay Over $25 Million To Ex-Manager Who Was Fired For Being White

Jury found that Starbucks had violated Ms Phillips’s federal civil rights

Coffee giant Starbucks has been ordered to pay $25.6 million to a white ex-manager in a racial discrimination case, reported CBS News. Shannon Phillips, a former manager, was fired by the company in the aftermath of a 2018 incident that took place at a Starbucks in the Rittenhouse Square neighbourhood of Philadelphia.

A federal jury in New Jersey found that Starbucks had violated Ms Phillips’s federal civil rights, as well as a New Jersey law that prohibits discrimination based on race, awarding her $600,000 in compensatory damages and $25m in punitive damages, reported BBC.

Ms Phillips who worked for the company for about 13 years was fired after the arrest of two Black men at the Philadelphia branch in April 2018. One of two black men waiting in the shop was denied permission to use the toilet because he did not purchase anything. The men- Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson said that they were at the shop for a business meeting and were waiting for someone. The two men refused to leave and staff called the police, who handcuffed the pair and escorted them from the cafe.

Their arrests were captured on camera and soon circulated across the internet. It triggered protests which led to the company closing all of its stores.

Regional manager Ms Phillips was fired while the manager of the shop where the incident took place, who was black, kept his job, CBS reported.

Ms Phillips sued Starbucks in 2019 and accused them of wrongful termination and of unfairly punishing white employees like her in response to the arrests.

Her lawyers argued that Ms Phillips was used as a scapegoat to show action was being taken following the incident. 

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