5. Starbucks Pushed Me To The Edge!
Starbucks is one of the most famous brands worldwide. The coffee shop has become so popular that the word ‘coffee’ is even becoming replaced with the name ‘Starbucks’, i.e. ‘do you want a Starbucks?’
Starbucks isn’t well-known for a poor working environments, however Meseret Kumulchew, a female barista at Starbucks in London, witnessed discrimination first hand. The extent of the discrimination she was facing pushed her to breaking point. She confessed to having suicidal thoughts, and the only reason she is still alive today is because of her two children.
Meseret was transparent about her dyslexia when she first joined. Regardless of this, Starbucks didn’t hold back on making her feel unwelcome and accusing her of fraud through falsifying documents. Meseret was mistakenly entering incorrect fridge temperatures because of her condition and lost her supervisor position as a result.
The tribunal found that Starbucks failed to make reasonable adjustments for Meseret. Additionally, Starbucks discriminated against her due to the effects of her dyslexia. Furthermore, it was found that her employer victimised her. Starbucks’ working environment allowed behaviour like this to occur because there was little or no knowledge or understanding of equality issues within the business.
This case highlights that discrimination doesn’t have to be consciously carried out to still be valid.