Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Government Sues Starbucks for Firing Dwarf

El Paso Times: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Starbucks Coffee Co. on behalf of a woman who claims she was fired from an El Paso coffee shop because she is a dwarf.

The EEOC in the lawsuit claims that Starbucks failed to provide reasonable accommodations for Elsa Sallard, who was fired from her job as a barista.

The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in El Paso, claims Sallard was terminated after three days because of her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Starbucks officials could not be reached for comment Monday night. Starbucks has locations around the world, including at least a dozen in El Paso. The coffee shop is not specified in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Sallard was hired as a barista, a position with a job description stating no prior experience was necessary. Sallard was hired July 27, 2009. Sallard, according to the lawsuit, requested a stool or a small step ladder to help her do her job such as working the cash register and preparing beverages. Starbucks allegedly refused.

On July 30, 2009, Sallard was fired after Starbucks allegedly claimed she would be a danger to customers and employees, according to the lawsuit. The EEOC is asking for a jury trial. The amount of compensation, if any, would be determined at trial.

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