Suing: Former Starbucks Workers Say They Were Fired for Being Gay

Joseph Hooks and Dorothy Baker, two former employees, are suing Starbucks, saying they were fired over their sexuality. The lawsuit targets Starbucks’ director of compliance and equal opportunity, Craig Sawyer.

CupThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

“Hooks reported to Sawyer from January 2007 until May 2007. According to court documents, Sawyer made anti-gay remarks and references to Hooks during this time and repeatedly pressured him to apply for positions elsewhere in the company. In April of that year, Sawyer told Hooks that he could not go to lunch with him and another employee because ‘just the boys are going to lunch,’ according to the suit. The suit also claims that Sawyer phoned Hooks sometime in May 2007 and pressured him to resign by the end of the day. Although Hooks did not resign, Sawyer sent out an e-mail stating that he had.”

“Baker worked for Starbucks from August 2007 until February of this year. Baker told Sawyer she was gay when they met to discuss diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity categories. Following Baker’s disclosure, the suit alleges, Sawyer began to isolate her, skipping their scheduled one-on-one meetings, changing her deadlines and complaining to human resources that she was not completing her work. According to the court filing, Sawyer also made comments to Baker about gay men. He had worked with HIV/AIDS-affected gay men as part of an internship after graduate school and told her a ‘funny’ story about how he once threw one of the men ‘through the wall’ while wrestling with him.”

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