Following a wrongful termination lawsuit concerning the 2018 arrests of two Black men at a Rittenhouse Square store she ran, Shannon Phillips received a $25.6 million payout in June.
Starbucks has been compelled to compensate a former regional manager for the Philadelphia area once more. A federal judge in New Jersey has ordered the corporation to pay her an additional $2.7 million in damages after already paying $25.6 million in response to a wrongful termination case two months earlier.
Repair community relations while ensuring employee and customer safety
Starbucks was ordered to pay Shannon Phillips, a former 13-year employee, $2,736,755 in back pay, front pay, and tax damages on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky, according to court documents. The decision follows a federal jury’s verdict in Camden that the coffee firm had violated Phillips’ civil rights and a New Jersey statute forbidding racial discrimination.
In 2019, Phillips sued Starbucks, claiming that she lost her employment as a result of being white. Soon after two Black males were detained for failing to place an order at a Centre City restaurant under Phillips’ management as a regional manager, she was fired. (She was also in charge of the Starbucks shops in South Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Maryland.)
Phillips said that after the arrests and the ensuing demonstrations, she “worked tirelessly” on behalf of the business to “repair community relations while ensuring employee and customer safety.” Her lawsuit claimed that Starbucks attempted to “punish” white staff members, even those who had no involvement in the incident, in order to demonstrate that the business had reacted appropriately to the arrests.
According to the lawsuit, one of Phillips’ bosses, a Black woman, reportedly instructed her to put a white worker who controlled Philadelphia stores on administrative leave due to claims of discriminatory behavior. When Phillips submitted material to clear the employee’s identity, she alleged that she was disregarded.
The lawsuit also claimed that Starbucks failed to discipline a Black district manager in charge of the 1801 Spruce St. store, where the arrests took place. Less than one month after the arrests, on May 9, 2018, Phillips was fired.
Two minutes after Nelson and Robinson entered the coffee shop at 4:37 p.m., a staff member made a police call. Police showed up at 4:41 p.m. Nelson and Robinson were instructed to leave by police if they were not intending to make a purchase. The males were ultimately taken into custody by the police, where they were kept for almost nine hours before being released.
Contribute $200,000 to the development of a youth entrepreneurship programme
At the time, Robinson said to “Good Morning America” that the meeting was about real estate. For months, we’ve been working on this. You’re about to sit here and tell me that I can’t change our entire circumstance, our life when we are only days away from doing so. You don’t act in that way.
Starbucks faced public anger and protests after a video of the arrests went viral online, with individuals alleging that the arrests were an instance of racial profiling. When Kevin Johnson was CEO of Starbucks, he expressed regret and went to Philadelphia to discuss racism with Jim Kenney, the mayor, and Richard Ross, the former commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department.
On May 2, 2018, Nelson and Robinson and the city came to an agreement. The men were each given $1 and a promise from the city to contribute $200,000 to the development of a youth entrepreneurship programme. Later that spring, Starbucks shuttered all 8,000 of its locations for a day so that its staff could receive training on racial bias.