A lawsuit alleges that Starbucks employees in New York City shamelessly mocked deaf customers, then tried to have them removed by police. The suit was filed on the behalf of 12 people last week in Manhattan and claims one worker laughed "hysterically" when one of the plaintiffs began speaking. It also claims that other employees called police to prevent a group called Deaf Chat Coffee from holding a monthly meeting.
According to company spokeswoman Jamie Riley, the coffee-slinger is probing the incident. "Discrimination of any kind at Starbucks in unacceptable," she explained. "We take these allegations very seriously and believe that they are neither in line with our values nor our track record of engaging the deaf community as partners and as customers."
The lawsuit says that the 10 people—some of whom had purchased coffee—where "shocked and frightened" when police appeared to investigate the report of a disturbance. They apologized after no illegal activity was discovered, then scolded Starbucks employees for wasiting their time.
The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages and a court order to stop future discriminatory behavior.
[via USA Today]