CENTEREACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Starbucks Coffee Co. is investigating a complaint that a supervisor at a Centereach store allegedly berated a gay employee during a management meeting, forcing him to resign.
The meeting was held last Sunday in a public area of the store on Middle County Road between members of management and the employee.
Customer Missy Alison, who witnessed the alleged exchange — which she said transpired just feet from where she was sitting with her daughter, wrote a letter to Starbucks asking for immediate action.
WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports: Starbucks Is Taking Immediate Measures
In the letter, which she posted on her blog, Alison said she saw “one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia I have ever witnessed in my entire life.”
Alison said a woman, who appeared to be in charge of the meeting, scolded and humiliated the employee who she said was “visibly shaken.”
Alison claims after the employee stepped away the women at the table went on a five minute ” homophobic rant.”
The unnamed employee, who Alison said was forced to resign, has obtained legal counsel.
A spokesman for the company said it was a mistake for the meeting to be held in the middle of the store.
On its website, Starbucks said it has “a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind” and that “the actions reported do not correspond with our values, who we are as a company or the beliefs we try to instill in our partners.”
The company said it is “taking immediate measures to investigate and take any steps necessary to make this right.”
The company said the issue is a personal matter and that it will not disclose the results of any disciplinary action it might take.
What kind of action do you think Starbucks should take? Sound off below…