Starbucks Sued For Discriminating Against White People

A former regional director of a Philadelphia Starbucks cafe at the center of a racially charged incident that sparked national protests of the company is now suing her former employer for racial discrimination. The company, she alleges, fired her, a white female, and unfairly punished other white employees in order to appease protesters.

Shannon Phillips, the former regional director whose region included a Center City Philadelphia Starbucks, says she was fired less than a month after one of the store’s managers called police to remove two black men who remained in the cafe after refusing to order anything.

Phillips says she was terminated “because she objected to placing the white district manager at the 18th and Spruce Streets store on administrative leave for purportedly paying lower salaries to black workers than their white counterparts,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.

“Phillips, who lives in South Jersey and worked for the coffee chain for 13 years, says Starbucks’ reason for disciplining the manager was ‘factually impossible,’ as the company’s ‘Partner Resources’ branch sets employee salaries without input from the store’s district manager,” the paper reports.

In response, Phillips has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging racial discrimination. Her attorney has asked for a jury trial.

In a statement to CBS3 Philadelphia, Starbucks denied the accusation. “We deny the claims of the lawsuit and are prepared to defend our case in court,” a Starbucks spokesperson told the outlet.


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