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.
Hello is a white racist term. Please say Yo, which can be followed by "what's up".
Wait until “whites” become the minority, you won’t believe how many countries and continents they come from.
Somebody should've mediated in a gag provision.
Company attorneys don't try lawsuits. They hire out.
Frequently they are wrong, particularly when there's a chance that copy-cats might pop-up.
At the moment I think I recall standing in line behind a minority gentleman and in front of a minority lady and the "boy" behind the counter said "fetch me a cup".
It was quite distressing. And the manager stood there and did nothing ~
I’ve watched one of these “confidential” negotiations take place. Every offer to settle from either side that went before, except for the actual final signed agreement, is (amazingly) not covered by the confidentiality clause.
Possibly. In this case a suit actually was filed. In some cases, no suit needs to be filed when the situation stinks badly enough.
I know some people cry “racism” at the drop of the had and game the system. On the other hand, a company stupid enough to allow bullying behavior (and sometimes bullying is expressed in racism) is just asking for trouble. I have seen bullies who seemed to be rewarded and protected precicely because they were bullies. It is stupid but it does happen.
This is badly prejudging a case in which you are not privy to things that, perhaps, only God and the plaintiff know the truth about. If you believe Starbucks is telling the truth, then why don’t you continue to patronize Starbucks? Surely you’d boycott Starbucks if you believe Starbucks was lying. The global disclaimer of responsibility is standard fare on both sides of almost all negotiated settlements in disagreements like this. Now if something comes out that shows this fellow was really shucking and jiving Starbucks and they folded to be PC, that’s different.
I don’t go to Starbucks because I hate coffee. I’ve heard from many people that their coffee is inferior for its price.
Bullying, sadly, is something that transcends “isms” although they can show themselves through same. In my case, one of the fellows that I believe was in the scheme to smear me, earlier raced to cut off the boss’s car from the nearest parking space at a department lunch out. I thought that was rather cadly of him, but kept my thoughts to myself at the time. Oh, and the boss was a she.
Today, I stopped in Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. I got takeout for two different people. DD employees looked like they came from several third world counties - Brazil, India. SB employees were white and they looked like the offspring of Obama voters. Clearly there are two different cultures here. I was also struck by the thirty customers sitting in SB. All were white except for two Asians. They looked like Obama voters. I think its a riot that SB gets taken by a black. Serves them right.
There's not enough information in the story to tell what's going on between Washington and his attorneys, but I will make an educated guess: Starbucks probably made the first check payable to Washington and the lawyers jointly, and Washington intercepted it and tried to cash it in order to keep from paying his attorney fees.
A few years ago, I thwarted just such an attempt by a guy who sued and later settled with a bank client of mine. Plaintiff showed up at my office unexpectly and demanded his check. I was suspicious, and called opposing counsel, who informed me that he hadn't paid his bill.
Beware the shark-to-shark network....
And sometimes empty headed bullies make crude racist (sexist, etc.) gestures “just because they can.”
Would you patronize Starbucks if they attempted to scorch earth only to have it all blow back up in their own face?
I once worked with a Hispanic from the Dominican Republic who threatened to file a discrimination lawsuit against my company. Instead of paying, the company unleased their lawyers on him and discovered that several members of his family had discrimination suits in the courts and that this was the third discrimation suit he had filed in 3 years. When confronted by these facts he agreed to sign a waiver clearing the company of any wrongdoing and in return the company would let him keep his job and not sue him.
This happened to me in the 80s. I ran a company that videotaped weddings. I booked a black wedding and used a black guy to tape it. He fit in better than I would. She didn’t like his work and sued me for her money back. I brought the finished video to show to the court that we complied and fulfilled the contract. The white court magistrate wouldn’t look at the video and just gave her, appearing with her little son born before the wedding, her money back.
For a “truth” guy you are adept at dodging the question! What would be your reaction if Starbucks scorched earth and lost? Boycott? Huh???
Also you must confess your own Machiavellian streak if you witnessed this wrongdoing against others and did nothing.
Let's not be indelicate, now, shall we? I'm sure what you meant was something more like:
And then bulging ones eyes out, with, per chance, a crotch-grab would also suffice.
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,
What ever happen to telling the co-worker to “f-off”? The coworker was not the boss and should have picked up their own unbrella and tie his shoes. Oh if it was me, I would have tied the shoes alright and he/she would never would have had blood flow again.
Because sometimes, those jobs are the only things those people have. I can see why he stuck with that job for so long. I was in a position similar to the guy.
Truth be told, not every race based lawsuit is a shakedown. I had a friend who was just like this. Every effing joke was a stupid race joke. I rolled with the punches because I naturally have a thick skin. I just believed words were words. But I truly saw his contempt for me when I loaned him money and he didn’t pay me back, and when he wanted to hit me up for some more money, I refused and called me the N word .
Oh, and if you’re wondering what his political affiliation is, he’s a Democrat. Go figure. I don’t talk to him anymore, just because he’s a loser that likes to drink and has no idea how to manage money. He depended on me all the time for money. Now he’s leeching off of Uncle Sam deluding himself into thinking he’s being patriotic by serving in the military. The guy’s not a patriot, he’s a LaRouchian Democrat looking for a quick meal ticket, much like other Democrats.
Simply put, there are pieces of shit in the world, and it sounds as though the managers were total loser pricks (BTW, most people who believe in that white power Bravo Sierra are the type that would work at Starbucks).
I know if any manager or employer tried that with me, he’d quickly find out what my other job is. Assistant taekwondo instructor. The pimps and thugs in my neighborhood also found out what my other job is. I was practicing in my yard today :-D
I'm a woman and I'm quite familiar with the Democrat attitude that the party OWNS minorities.
Good thing nobody asked him for Black Coffee.