Starbucks Bans Employees From Wearing Engagement Rings -- Huh?!

barista making a latteSeveral weeks ago, while waiting for my go-to Italian roast to be brewed by Starbucks' fancy new Clover machine, I complimented the barista for her pretty, coral manicure. "Shh, I'm not supposed to even have my nails done!" she replied. "It's gel, but manicures are against dress code, because they're afraid polish may chip into the drinks." Huh? In over a decade of patronizing the chain, I'd never heard that one! Weird.

Well, now, Starbucks' dress code has gotten even more ridiculous. This week, they've debuted a few new, stringent rules about what employees absolutely cannot wear to work. The biggest jaw-dropper: Engagement rings.


A new infographic offered to employees notes that jewelry and food safety go hand-in-hand:

There are food safety rules we have to live by. Here’s the fine print -- wearing a ring is okay if it’s a plain band, no stones. Unfortunately, no watches, bracelets, or wristbands are allowed. Simple necklaces can be worn under your clothes.

In other words, no engagement rings. Looks like the "no stones" stipulation means diamond wedding bands/eternity bands are no-nos, too. So strange! What the heck? How many Starbucks patrons are swallowing baristas' bling that this is now a major food safety issue?

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Unsurprisingly, plenty of Starbucks employees are none too happy about the new policy, especially those who feel like it's targeting female employees specifically. For that reason and just because it makes no sense to them, some customers have gone so far as to begin boycotting the chain.

Really, it seems like there are bigger threats to food safety that the company could be focused on (like, oh, I don't know, the questionable ingredients in their drink syrups). There are other policies -- from customer service to carrying almond milk! -- that they could consider revamping to make the Starbucks experience more enjoyable for patrons.

What a shame that instead they're picking on employees' engagement rings. Come on, Starbucks -- lighten up. Do we really need to ban baristas' most prized accessory for the sake of our lattes?

How do you feel about this new policy? Does it make you want to boycott Starbucks?


Image via Christopher Villano/Image Source/Corbis

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