Dwarf case exposes coffee company's shortcomings

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

As if there weren't already enough reasons to dislike Starbucks Coffee Company, the US Government is now taking them to court after a barista in El Paso was fired because she's a dwarf.According…

As if there weren't already enough reasons to dislike Starbucks Coffee Company, the US Government is now taking them to court after a barista in El Paso was fired because she's a dwarf.

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According to Reuters, when the employee asked the company for a stool or stepladder to assist her in carrying out her coffee-making duties, Starbucks denied the request and fired her that very same day.

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the reasons given for her dismissal were that she could pose a danger to customers and fellow workers.

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The commission, which filed a lawsuit earlier in the week, said Starbucks had violated federal law by failing to reasonably accommodate the dwarf, who was hired in July 2009 and fired after only three days of training.

"Starbucks has become a virtual icon of modern American culture, appealing to an incredibly diverse customer base," said Robert Canino, a commission lawyer in Dallas. "We'd hope that when considering hiring a person with a disability, Starbucks would choose to enhance its brand with the mark of equal opportunity and access."

Folklaw was not shocked to discover that Starbucks was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

Dwarf case exposes coffee company's shortcomings
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