Starbucks Settles with California Teen in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
June 9, 2010
In a recent Southern California sexual harassment lawsuit settlement that our attorneys at Howard Law, PC discussed in a blog, Starbucks has settled a lawsuit with a 20-year old former barista from Orange County, California, who claims that the coffee giant neglected to protect her from sexual demands made by the store manager, when she worked there as a teenager.
The former Starbucks barista, Kati Moore, claimed in her lawsuit that while working as a barista for the company at the age of 16, she was subjected to constant sexual harassment and discrimination by her then 24-year old supervisor. Moore claimed that Starbucks failed to protect her from the discrimination and sexual harassment, especially because other Starbucks supervisors reportedly knew about the sexual violations happening, but didn't come forward.
After finding out about the relationship, Moore's mother contacted prosecutors. Moore's manager claimed that he did not know that Moore was 16, and pleaded guilty of illegal sex with a minor--a felony charge that led to four months in prison.
Starbucks claims to have a strict policy against sexual harassment, as well as employee relationships. After the release of the "20/20" news program investigating Katie Moore's case, and teen sexual harassment in the workplace, Starbucks reportedly stated that because the employees violated company policy by concealing their relationship, the company was confident the case would be resolved, in finding that Starbucks was not at fault.
Although Starbucks does have a policy against managers dating baristas, there is said to be no active policy regarding relationships with teenagers who are under the age of 18. Starbucks settled out of court with Moore for an undisclosed amount.
Starbucks Settles with Teen Barista Over 'Sex Demands' at Work, ABC News, June 4, 2010
16-year-old Starbucks Barista Sues Over "Sex Demands" at Work, ABC News, January 22, 2010
Woman Sues Starbucks Over Underage Sex, The Orange County Register, January 25, 2010
EEOC: Industry Sued Most in Claims of Teen Harassment, Nation's Restaurant News, February 5, 2007
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