Starbucks’ history of racial harassment makes its way to Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County

A South Florida man is claiming he was the subject of racially-driven harassment at a Brandon Starbucks but it’s not the first time the coffee giant has been in hot water. 

Last year, two African-American men were arrested for tresspassing while waiting for a friend at a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia, after an employee refused to allow him to use the restroom, saying it was for paying customers only.

Days later, another viral video surfaced showing  an African-American man in the Los Angeles area trying to show that he was denied use of a  Starbucks restroom while a white customer was allowed access.

The series of incidents prompted Starbucks to show its 175,000 employees a film about racial bias to lead into a full curriculum on the topic. 

In May of 2018, more than 8,000 Starbucks locations, including more than 20 in Hillsborough County, closed for training on the subject of racial bias.

Starbucks later update it’s policies, saying  anyone could sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they didn’t buy anything. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Florida law protects anyone from discrimination based on virtually any personal factors:

“All persons are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, handicap, familial status, or religion.”

While most lawsuits pertaining to race discrimination stem from employment or racial bias in the workplace, Florida has had seven major lawsuits involving racial discrimnation in the laws ten years ranging from everything to stop-and-frisk situations in Miami to violating the rights of minority voters. 

Section 2000a of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  prohibits discrimination on the basis of race by restaurants, hotels, theaters, gas stations, and in contracting.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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