Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Starbucks sacks employee accused of mocking customer for stuttering

Starbucks sacks employee accused of mocking customer for stuttering

On Tuesday, Starbucks commented on Lekwijit's post again to say that the employee no longer works at Starbucks.

Starbucks says a United States employee has been fired after reportedly mocking a customer with a stutter.

It appears that it wasn't until Lekwijit posted a picture of Sam's coffee cup on Facebook that Starbucks made a decision to take further action with a statement on July 2 saying they were going to address the matter "immediately".

Lekwijit said that he was not motivated to share the post to get anyone in trouble but wanted to "raise awareness among employees".

Lekwijit explained of the "disrespectful" interaction that the barista even went so far as to reply to his friend: 'Okay, S-s-s-sam, ' after he ordered at the counter. There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend's and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence.

Clearly, Starbucks missed the point. "It was about how you treat people with speech impairments, not how you write names", wrote Sam's friend.

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"Teasing a person about stuttering, no matter the environment, is wrong and reinforces common misconceptions about people [who] stutter", Gerald Maguire of the National Stuttering Association wrote, according to NBC Philadelphia.

Lekwijit also declined NBC News' requests for interview.

It was only after Lekwijit posted a photo of the coffee cup to Starbuck's Facebook page that the company chose to take further action "immediately", he said.

Starbucks announced on Twitter Thursday that the employee had been sacked.

This situation comes just over a month after Starbucks closed 8,000 stores across the country for racial-bias training following the arrest of two black men who were trying to use the restroom in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, location of the chain. "I sort of got a generic email, and I didn't feel like I was heard", he said. "Not just my friend, but for other people with speech disorders", Lekwijit told the Philadelphia Inquirer on why he decided to make the post.

"We want our stores to serve as a welcoming place for everyone who visits and want to ensure our partners provide a positive experience", they wrote. The Associated Press reported that the barista was sacked. "We've taken immediate corrective action and have apologized to the customer", a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed in a statement to INSIDER.

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