Friday, July 12, 2013

Starbucks sued for refusing to Serve the Deaf

A dozen deaf New Yorkers say some Starbucks in the city are refusing serve them. They have even been thrown out of the coffee shop and made fun of them. The group's lawsuit says it has happened more than once, at more than one Starbucks. The man taking the lead in the lawsuit, Lawrence Bitkower, organizes monthly coffee chats for the deaf. He says Starbucks refused to serve his group, telling them in writing that Starbucks doesn't serve deaf people. Another man involved in the lawsuit, Alan Roth, says last year he tried to get coffee at a Park Avenue Starbucks but was laughed at and then yelled at when he asked to see a manager. Roth says the manager did nothing in response to his complaint. Another deaf person said they saw a Starbucks employee reprimanded for trying to communicate with a deaf customer using sign language. In once instance, police were called to remove a deaf group for causing a disturbance. The deaf plaintiffs say the police ended up reprimanding the Starbucks employees. Starbucks CEO Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz apologized and send a gift card, but the lawsuit complains that no action has been taken by the company to educate its employees about deaf customers... and the problem continues. Starbucks has yet to respond to the lawsuit.