Fired For Being White

( – A former Starbucks executive who says she was fired because she is white won at trial and has been awarded $25.6 million in compensation.

Shannon Phillips was a Starbucks regional director over an area including Philadelphia when she was fired after two black men were arrested in one of the stores under her supervision in April 2018.

She had been with Starbucks for about 13 years and was managing a region of stores.

A New Jersey jury unanimously ruled in Phillips’ favor after a six-day trial, CNN reports, quoting Console Mattiacci Law, the firm representing her.

Starbucks spokesperson Jaci Anderson said the company was disappointed with the verdict and considering its next steps. At the same time, Phillips’ lawyers revealed she would also seek back and front pay in addition to the awarded compensation.

The 2018 incident, which led to the regional manager’s firing, has been a matter of public contention, sparking “protests and outrage,” according to the report.

Before they were arrested, the two men were asked to leave the coffee shop after sitting at a table and not ordering anything.

They refused to leave, saying they were awaiting a business associate. However, a manager called the police, and they were taken out of the shop in handcuffs.

The two men sued the company and the City of Philadelphia and reached settlement agreements.

Phillips first filed a lawsuit against Starbucks in 2019, claiming that when she was fired, it was because of her race and she was discriminated against.

Starbucks “took steps to punish White employees who had not been involved in the arrests, but who worked in and around the city of Philadelphia, in an effort to convince the community that it had properly responded to the incident,” the former executive alleged.

She complained Starbucks had ordered her to put a white worker on leave over discriminatory conduct. Phillips knew that was inaccurate, tried to defend the employee, and was axed as a result.

Her complaint said that was “a pre-text for race discrimination” and that Phillips’ “race was a motivating and/or determinative factor in [Starbucks’] discriminatory treatment.”