Federal judge orders Starbucks to pay $2.7 million to manager who was fired "for being white"

The international coffee chain had already been ordered to pay the former employee $25 million in punitive damages.

A federal judge in New Jersey has ordered Starbucks to pay several million dollars to a former worker who sued the coffee chain after she was fired for being white.

In a former lawsuit, the company was ordered to pay $25 million to Shannon Philips, the former regional director who filed the case against Starbucks. However, this time, US district judge Joel Slomsky decided that the company must pay an additional amount to the former employee to cover the fees of the lawsuit.

Now Starbucks will have to pay $1.6 million in advance payments, $1 million in late payments, and about $66,000 in gross tax damages for "court-determined economic loss and attorneys' fee award," which gives approximately $2.7 million.

Starbucks believes payment is unfair

The company believes that Phillips does not deserve the additional payment established by the courts. According to Starbucks' lawyers, the accountant who did the calculations in the case analyzed everything incorrectly, so the company could agree to pay the former manager $78,343 for additional damages.

The company also complained that its former worker did not make an effort to find another job after her dismissal. "Ms. Phillips removed herself from the job market, but she declined to pursue an opportunity at 7-11 that would likely have been more comparable to Starbucks even before accepting her current role at Raymour & Flanigan," Starbucks attorneys stated.

The incident behind the lawsuit against Starbucks

Shannon Phillips sued the coffee chain in 2019 after she complained to the company that it was committing racial discrimination against its white employees.

"I was terminated because I am white. If I was black, I would not have been terminated. I was terminated because I complained of and objected to race discrimination," she said.

Although the company said its decision was not racially motivated, a jury found that skin color played a role in the dismissal.