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Starbucks Barista Fired for Refusing to Wear Pride T-Shirt

A New Jersey woman is suing Starbucks, alleging they fired her because she refused to wear a Pride t-shirt that she felt violated her religious beliefs. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, Betsy Fresse was fired from her barista job at the chain’s Glen Ridge location for refusing to wear the shirt during shift, after being “assured” by her manager that it would not be an issue. Fresse “believes that being made to wear a Pride T-shirt as a condition of employment would be tantamount to forced speech,” according to the suit.

Her notice of termination said she was fired for violating Starbucks’ “Core Values,” and for telling coworkers that they “need Jesus.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the incident, but couldn’t conclude that Starbucks had violated her rights, according to the lawsuit.


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