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LOCAL News :: Kansas City : Labor

Starbucks Barista Victimized by Age Discrimination

Bunny's Story
I am a 54 year old ex-Starbucks employee. I worked at Starbucks in Kansas City for over a year. I could say a lot about what I endured as a Starbucks so called PARTNER, but I will make this brief so that I can get my message out there so this will not happen to others.

I was a Shift Supervisor on the AM shift and worked around 35-38 hours per week. I stepped down from being a shift as a result of discrimination from my manager.

On one occasion my manager took me aside and said that he felt intimidated by me. I asked what he meant, and he said, that with me being 53 years old and him being only 26 years old, he had not been through all of the things in life that I had, like raising 6 children, and owning my own business, and he sometimes questioned his decisions after talking to me. He continued to say that if he feels that way that he could only imagine how I intimidated my 18-19 year old Shift Supervisors. Then he told me to forget everything I had ever learned in life and do things his way.

Another time, there were two of us on the floor and I asked a tall partner if he would hand me a bottle of vanilla syrup. I said, "thanks," and went back to making drinks. Our manager was standing at the end of the counter watching us and later took me outside and told me that my "thanks" did not sound sincere.

If I did try to defend myself by saying that all I was doing was following Starbucks standards, he would always tell me to "step on my tail", whatever that means. My friends at the store who were younger than me would not show up to work for 3-4 days and were not asked to bring in a doctors excuse.

I missed 2 days in 14 months and both times my manager told me that I had to have a doctors excuse before I could return to work. The younger employees confided to me that they never had to bring in an excuse to return to work. I went to the doctor and got an excuse because I needed my job and I was not about to quit and loose my benefits and pay.

To make a long story short I eventually got FIRED, leaving me with no paycheck, and no benefits. I have been a barista for 7 years and a good one.

I am finding out that it's not easy to find a job in this business at my age and I have such a passion for coffee and this is what I enjoy. I did not get paid well but I did have benefits and now I don't. There has got to be a way to stop the discrimination! Why are we called Partners and then treated this way? Hopefully my story will help all employees, younger or older, lets all stick together and PARTNER up to help each other!

I wish I had contacted the Starbucks Workers Union before I had been fired. Nevertheless, I have now joined the union and have filed an age discrimination case. Please, if you are a Starbucks employee and things aren’t feeling right at work, contact those of us in the union before you are fired. While we can still lend a hand even if you are terminated, there is much more we can do while you’re on the job.

You can contact me at jimandbunny (at) hotmail.com.


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Re: Starbucks Barista Victimized by Age Discrimination




So don't drink their coffee, either.


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