A former Starbucks employee said she was fired after she objected to being forced to wear company t-shirts promoting “ LGBT pride, ” according to a lawsuit.
Betsy Fresse was reportedly fired from her job as a barista at a Starbucks in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, after nearly four years with the business.
Fresse said she was “assured” by managers that she would not face any obstacles because of her Christian faith.
“But months later, during a meeting in a manager’s office in June 2019, Fresse noticed a box of Starbucks’ Pride shirts on a desk. She then asked if she would be required to wear one, which would be ‘equivalent to forced speech’ as she believes marriage is defined by the Bible as’ one man and one woman only ”, The New York Post reports, citing the lawsuit.
Fresse says her manager told her she shouldn’t be wearing the shirt.
However, shortly thereafter, she reportedly received a termination notice stating that she had violated the “core values” of the company.
“We apply these values when we embrace inclusion and diversity, and welcome and learn from people from different backgrounds and perspectives,” the note explains.
Fresse is now demanding arrears, punitive damages and payment of his attorneys’ fees due to unlawful discrimination.
His action also seeks “a permanent injunction preventing Starbucks from ‘disregarding the sincere religious beliefs’ of employees,” the Post reported.
A Starbucks spokesperson told the Post, “We are very aware of Ms. Fresse’s allegations, which are unfounded, and we are fully prepared to take our case to court.”
“Specific to our dress code, other than our green apron, no part of our dress code requires partners to wear approved items that they have not personally selected.”
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