Starbucks Employee Who Fired Dwarf Should Never Work Again

starbucks cupA Starbucks in El Paso, Texas has been ordered to pay Elsa Sallard $75,000 after the coffee shop fired her for being a dwarf. During her three days of training Elsa continually asked for a step ladder or a small stool so she could help prepare orders and serve customers -- and she was continually denied. Then, when her training was up, Elsa was given the axe because, according to the company, "she could pose a danger to customers and employees."

Wow, Starbucks, this is really, really low stuff here. I hope paying Elsa $75,000 isn't the only thing you're going to do.


When the lawsuit was first filed by Elsa and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC had nothing but bad things (understandably) to say about the coffee chain. Now that they've settled, the EEOC has changed their tune a bit (money talks), saying Starbucks is currently sending "the right signal from the corporate office."

My question is: What kind of message were they sending before? I mean, clearly "firing someone with dwarfism" isn't something that ever came from the corporate office. Not only would that be one of the most detestable things on the planet (and most illegal), Starbucks often boasts themselves as an equal opportunity employer. This is something that came from the manager of that particular Starbucks in Texas.

It's great that Starbucks paid Ms. Sallard $75,000 (money never hurts), but what should also happen is the firing of the manager (or whomever was responsible) who terminated Elsa. He or she clearly doesn't know the first thing about running a store, or, more importantly, being a human being.

I'm not the manager of a coffee shop, but I don't understand how someone with dwarfism could ever pose a danger to employees or customers -- or how a small step ladder could either. And if for some reason she or it did, you find a way to rectify the situation. Elsa was only there for three days. This obviously wasn't a "problem" that anyone tried to solve. The manager obviously sucked at their job.

I hope the person who fired Elsa has long-since been terminated from Starbucks themselves. And I hope they remain unemployed for a very, very long time. Then maybe they'll get a quarter of an idea as to how Elsa must have felt.

Do you think this is right?


Image via rudolf_schuba/Flickr


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