Government sues Starbucks after it fires little person

No folks, I’m not pulling your leg. Reuters is reporting the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on Monday against Starbucks after it fired an employee who requested to use a stool or a small stepladder to perform her job. The employee was hired in July 2009 and was fired after receiving three days of training.

“Starbucks has become a virtual icon of modern American culture, appealing to an incredibly diverse customer base,” Robert Canino, a commission lawyer in Dallas, said in a statement. “We’d hope that when considering hiring a person with a disability, Starbucks would choose to enhance its brand with the mark of equal opportunity and access.”

(As an aside, why in the hell did Reuters feel the need to use dwarf in its headline, since that characterization may be offensive to some of its readers?)

Note to Starbucks: you can’t discriminate against an employee with a physical disability. Also, it’s kind of ironic that a company of this magnitude, which claims to be progressive and open-minded, would even allow its managers to act with such disregard and openly violate the law.

Yet another example of how pervasive ableism is in our society and the constant battle for equal accessibility many folks with disabilities have to face on a daily basis.