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Starbucks faces sexual harassment claim

The largest corporations in America have many levels in the management of their organizations. Of course, there are always the top decision makers at the corporate headquarters, but for businesses in the service sector especially, there will almost always be a store-level manager at each location. Starbucks, one of the largest and most recognizable food service corporations in the country, is one of these types of businesses.

Starbucks has gained great popularity over the last several years, and Colorado is home to dozens of these business locations. However, an employee at one Starbucks location in another state has come forward with some disturbing allegations of sexual harassment.

Many of our readers are used to seeing reports of sexual harassment that include such behavior as offensive sexual comments or unwanted sexual advances. However, the Starbucks employee, a 23-year-old female, has alleged that the store manager at her store location took his behavior to a whole different level in her sexual harassment claim. According to the reports, the store manager allegedly stopped the female employee in stairwell and began to manhandle her physically, including kissing her on the neck and groping her. The employee reported that the store manager only stopped when she began to scream. And, to make matters worse in this case, the female employee has stated that when she complained about the behavior she was ignored.

When upper management of a corporation learns of alleged sexual harassment among co-workers, the corporation usually has one chance to fire the alleged perpetrator and avoid legal liability. However, when the alleged perpetrator is a store manager, that individual is part of the corporate structure and the corporation will probably have a tough time avoiding liability.

Source: New York Post, "Starbucks barista sues boss for alleged sexual harassment," Josh Saul, March 3, 2014

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