#Roommates, you may remember the incident last year at a local Philadelphia Starbucks where a white employee called the police on two black men who were waiting inside for a business meeting. It sparked intense outrage on social media, threat of a boycott and resulted Starbucks closing stores for mandatory racial sensitivity training. Well now, the white female manager who was fired for her role in the situation has officially filed a lawsuit for racial discrimination.

As reported by @NBCNews, Shannon Phillips, the white former regional manager for a Philadelphia Starbucks, alleges in her lawsuit that she was a victim of racial discrimination when Starbucks fired her after the Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested inside the location following the call to police placed by one of her employees. She says she would still have her job if she were not white.

Phillips alleges in her lawsuit, filed earlier this week in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, that about a month after the arrests of the men she was ordered to suspend one of her subordinates, a white employee who was a Starbucks manager but had nothing to do with the arrests or the store where they occurred, the suit says. However, the manager who was responsible for that store, who is black, was not penalized.

She claims she was told that non-white employees had been paid less than white employees, Phillips said she pointed out that store managers have nothing to do with determining salaries, which are set by a different division of the company. The following day, she was fired, with managers telling her “the situation is not recoverable.”

Additionally, she states that she regularly “received positive performance evaluations and related merit driven bonuses and salary increases.” Phillips further states she was a 13-year employee of Starbucks, overseeing stores in southern New Jersey, the Philadelphia area, Delaware and parts of Maryland, when employees at her Philadelphia store called police in April 2018 to say that Nelson and Robinson were trespassing.

A representative for Starbucks released a statement denying Phillips’ lawsuit claims, stating, “We do not believe there is any merit to it and we’re prepared to present our case in court.” Phillips is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.

 

Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?