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Starbucks barista subjected to sexual harassment on the job

Category: Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment

Getting your first job can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for any young person in San Jose. Of course there is the thrill of getting a regular paycheck, but there are also new challenges, expectations and responsibilities that come with a new job. In many cases, young people will do whatever they can to succeed and may be willing to put up with less-than-perfect job conditions. Unfortunately, some supervisors and managers take advantage of this situation.

For example, a 23-year-old woman had just started her first job as a Starbucks barista in another state. It was her first experience in a professional work environment, but she says the treatment she received was anything but professional.

According to the lawsuit the young woman eventually filed, she had been consistently and repeatedly harassed by her supervisor while working at Starbucks. During the course of her employment, the supervisor allegedly made sexually inappropriate comments to her, touched and kissed the woman against her will and even grabbed her and requested sexual favors.

As frightened as she was, the woman initially tried to ignore the behavior. But it persisted and she believed that reporting the behavior for the store manager would put an end to it all. Sadly, no action was taken against the supervisor and the harassment and abuse continued. Eventually, she resorted to carrying a recorder with her and was able to record an incident of the man’s misconduct. Rather than take action against the supervisor, the store manager reprimanded the woman for using the recorder. Now the woman has taken legal action against her former bosses for the harassment she endured and for their failure to put a stop to it.

Other young people in her position may be too scared or embarrassed to report similar misconduct. They may not want to lose their job or upset their parents, and some people may not even realize that they are protected from this type of behavior in California. However, people who have been subjected to behaviors similar to those discussed in this post may want to consider speaking with an attorney. In many cases, victims have the right to hold parties accountable for harassment on the job and pursue compensation for damages suffered as a result of the misconduct.

Source: New York Daily News, “Starbucks barista sues bosses, says she was groped and harassed at work,” Barbara Ross, March 3, 2014

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