Skip to comments.Starbucks pays $120,000 to settle racial discrimination lawsuit
Posted on 07/06/2009 5:53:50 PM PDT by Drew68
Starbucks agreed in April to pay a former lead network engineer in Seattle $120,000 plus a mediator's fee to settle a lawsuit that alleges racial discrimination and retaliation "so severe that it required him to take a medical leave of absence."
Victor Washington of Shoreline, who is African-American and worked for Starbucks from September 2006 until May 2008, alleges in the July 2008 lawsuit that a white co-worker made racist comments to him such as repeatedly telling him to "fetch" the co-worker's umbrella and tie his shoes for him. In the lawsuit, Washington says he complained to his supervisor and to Starbucks' human resources department, and that they took no action, although the supervisor increased his workload and gave him undesirable assignments.
Starbucks said in a written statement that it investigated Washington's allegations while he worked there and found them without merit, and that it settled the case to avoid further legal costs.
The company wrote Washington a check for $120,000, which it says in a court filing was "compensation for emotional distress and attorneys' fees." But Washington has not cashed it, and Starbucks last week asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to enforce the settlement.
In a telephone interview, Washington said he plans to dispute the amount of the settlement agreement, which he thinks should be $140,000.
"I think they got out extremely cheap as it was," he said. "The only reason I settled was because of issues with my former lawyer."
Washington's former lawyer, Joyce Thompson of Frank Freed Subit & Thomas in Seattle, did not return phone calls. She and attorney Jillian Cutler have asked the court to tell Starbucks to cancel its outstanding check to Washington and cut two separate checks...
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
This is just outrageous. The plaintiff gamed Starbucks and they knuckled under. When are companies going to start standing up to this crap?
What a dick.
>..”alleges in the July 2008 lawsuit that a white co-worker made racist comments..”
WHOA! That’s racist. Where’s my affirmative action lawyer? If you call him African-American in the piece, why don’t you call the other party Caucasian-American?
Victor Washington of Shoreline, who is African-American .
Automatic in this day,since he ain’t just a regular American.
That dude would have gotten his umbrella back with a huge, ragged hole cut in it with a pair of rusty shears. Ditto for his shoelaces. Of course, that probably isn’t as satisfying as $120k in large bills.
Its not unusual, it would cost Starbucks more than that to go to court. Sleazeballs have been doing this for years.
Yeah, let's see. Issues with his employer, coworkers and legal team. Sounds like a trend. Look into his past and I'll bet he's played this game before.
It probably wasn’t racial to begin with. Just more con jobs.
It’s probably not so outrageous. Companies the size and shape of Starbucks face hundreds, sometimes thousands, of race and gender discrimination complaints from customers and employees year. They ONLY settle those complaints when there is good evidence of bad facts. A (stupid) manager telling a black employee to tie his shoes, and a (careless) HR rep failing to follow up on per the manual are just the thing that prices out to low six figures.
(Starbucks’ “written statement” absolving itself of responsibility and proclaiming certain victory was one of the things it paid for in the settlement agreement...)
I know but it's the precedent that is set. Scream "racism!" and KA-CHING!!!
What's to stop the next guy from cashing in?
“What’s to stop the next guy from cashing in?”
Nothing, this is why lawyers drive BMWs.
whoa, things like this just infuriate me. That damn race card, used again and again. The problem is, it still works in our overtly nauseatingly politically correct society. Race cards are thrown when people want something for nothing; they don’t want to work for it, they know they don’t deserve it, so instead of walking away, they just cry “racism”, and there is this sense of entitlement. it is the ultimate symbol of laziness. Not only that, but crying false race cards all the time minimize situations where true racism occurs. and that is the saddest part of all, that we can’t fight racism because of all these false accusations.
You know how Holder accused Americans of being “cowards” in discussion of race? What a bunch of crap. It’s almost as if you can’t say “hello” to a minority without being accused of racism.
that’s the world we live in. This is the world brought to you by Sharpton, the NAACP.
Oh, and this is how we elected a president sole based on his race.
Some companies refuse to purge loons from their ranks, and they pay when those loons run loose. Ever had multiple co-workers actually try to fabricate evidence on you? I know what that’s like, and as best I can judge from the outcome of the situation (I won’t mention the company or the specifics of the outcome) the clumsy forgery blew up in the company’s face.
When their lawyers quit telling them, "You can't afford me to go to court. Gotta go--it's my tee time".
Racial relations are such a touchy thing today, and the likes of Sharpton and Jackson aren’t exactly helping. I wish these race baiting firebrands would just shut up, then for the most part, as the infamous Rodney King put it, “we would all get along.”
Company attorneys generally get paid a flat salary. There must have been something pretty sour in this case which told Starbucks it wasn’t worth having one of their salaried legal eagles spend six solid months attempting to vanquish it.
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