Former Starbucks Employee Claims Company Failed to Protect Him from Customer’s Verbal Racial Abuse in Lawsuit

A Black former shift supervisor at a Starbucks in Connecticut has sued the chain, claiming that it failed to protect him from a customer who attacked him with racial slurs.

Dayshawn Rodriguez said in his complaint in the District of Connecticut court, first filed in May but revised in July, that he was repeatedly verbally harassed by a customer who called him a ‘n—–.’

Rodriguez said he worked at Starbucks for about five years. He said in his complaint that the customer was in the restroom for “quite some time” after he closed the store in Westport, Connecticut, on October 7, 2019. He said he knocked on the door to check on the customer and she came out, poked him in the chest, and said “don’t rush me n—–,” per the complaint.

Rodriguez said he informed the store manager, who said that she would inform the district manager, but that “they did nothing to stop or address the conduct.”

Around a week later, Rodriguez told his district manager that he didn’t want to serve the customer anymore, but they said it wasn’t possible, per the complaint. Rodriguez said that later that month the district manager told him “that I may be too sensitive to be a shift supervisor and said the N-word is not the worst thing to be called.”

Rodriguez said in the complaint that “I later demoted myself to barista.”

On a later occasion, the customer returned to the store, threw water on herself, pointed at Rodriguez and said “that Black man did it,” the complaint says.

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SOURCE: Business Insider, Grace Dean