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Starbucks sued for sexual harassment and disability discrimination

A former Starbucks employee based in New York has filed a sexual harassment and disability discrimination lawsuit against the company.

Kari Smith, who worked at several Starbucks locations in Brooklyn for 11 years, claims that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and sexually harassed because of her disability and then fired in retaliation when she complained about the harassment.

Smith suffers from a medical condition known as Syncope, which causes uncontrollable and unpredictable fainting.

Smith claims that she was ridiculed and humiliated for her disability at each Starbucks location that she worked. When she complained about the hostile work environment, Smith was allegedly demoted and transferred to a different Starbucks location.

According to the complaint, Smith was subjected to sexual harassment by employees at the Starbucks location in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. She alleges other employees made offensive comments about female body parts, and a male employee repeatedly asked Smith if she wanted to “make out” with him.

Smith alleges that she complained about the sexual harassment to her store manager and district manager.

Starbucks fired Smith while she was out on approved leave for allegedly not providing Starbucks with certain documents related to her disability leave. Smith claims that Starbucks did not ask her about the missing paperwork, nor did the company provide Smith with an opportunity to provide the documents.

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Starbucks sued for sexual harassment and disability discrimination
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