Interesting case of a woman fired by Starbucks for refusing to wear a shirt with the word Pride on it. When ever I read a case like this I can’t help but to wonder what they would have done if she were Muslim?
On a side note, I personally have not gone to a Starbucks in years and won’t be doing so any time soon.
A Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News that Fresse’s claims are “without merit” and that the company is prepared to present its case in court. “Starbucks does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation,” the spokesperson said in an email. The spokesperson added that, other than Starbucks’ trademark green apron, “no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected.”
It gets iffy when it starts to get into religion. I’ve always been a supporter of wearing the uniform your employer provides as a term of employment. Don’t want to wear it? Go elsewhere. The uniform you wear is a companies message to its customers, not the employees message. If an employee did that on their own they’d be fired.
Definitely need more info. No one should be forced to wear apparel displaying political/social messages.
I’d think a company the size of Starbucks would be pretty aware of that though.
The spokesperson added that, aside from the chain’s familiar green aprons, “no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected.”
It at least appears through a corporate spokesperson that they don’t.
A termination notice given to Fresse said she had actually been given the Pride shirt and that she refused to put it on and then stated her co-workers “need Jesus,” according to NBC.
In the suit, Fresse said she meant no harm by her statement, adding that “all people need Jesus” and that Christians are called “to express in word and deeds Christ’s love for everyone,” NBC reported.
I wonder in what manner she conveyed her co-workers “need Jesus.” Was it a comment in passing or a protracted in your face scream fest? Something in between? It seems that could just as easily be the motivation for the firing.
I guess we’ll see. Starbucks seems pretty motivated to continue to court. A company that big could easily settle. It seems like this would be more to clear their name than to avoid any immediate financial loss. I’d imagine they have a pretty compelling case.
There is almost no chance that a Democratic-controlled NLRB would have reached the same conclusion. As proof of this, consider the Cooper Tire picketing case decided under the Obama Board. In that case, picketers yelled out clearly racist statements at replacement workers and were fired for doing so. The NLRB said the termination was unlawful because the statements occurred in the context of protected activity (picketing) and the 8th Circuit ultimately affirmed the NLRB’s decision in that case. Picketing is a somewhat different legal situation than memos spread by email lists or whatnot, but the case nonetheless provides a good sense of how much Democratic boards are willing to tolerate in order to reduce the ability of employers to fire people who are engaged in otherwise protected activity.
None of this analysis is to say that the Republican position on this is necessarily wrong. … But the Republican calculation here is not based on their love of the CRA. It’s based on their love of management discretion.
Also, IMO, demands like back pay and payment for emotional suffering & payment of attorney fees really are ridiculous and I really hope, if judgement is in her favor, she doesn’t get compensation for any of these.