A judge ordered Starbucks to pay an additional $2.7 million to a former regional manager after receiving more than $25 million in damages after she claimed she and other white employees were tortured after the high-profile arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia location in 2018. unfair punishment. .
Shannon Phillips won $600,000 in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages after a New Jersey jury found race was a determining factor in Phillips’ firing in June, violating federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
philadelphia inquirer Report U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky also ordered Starbucks on Wednesday to pay Phillips an additional $2.73 million in damages and lost taxes, according to court documents. The company objected to paying any amount, saying Phillips could not demonstrate that she would not be able to earn the same or more money in the future.
In April 2018, a store manager in Philadelphia called the police after two black men sat in a coffee shop without ordering anything. Rashaw Nelson and Donte Robinson were later acquitted.
Phillips, who was a regional operations manager for Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and elsewhere at the time, was not involved in the arrest. However, according to her lawsuit, she said she was ordered to place a white manager who was also not involved on administrative leave for reasons she knew to be bogus.
Phillips, 52, said she was fired less than a month after protesting the manager’s leave amid an uproar, according to her lawsuit.
The company’s reasoning for suspending the regional manager who was not responsible for the store where the arrest occurred was allegations that black store managers were paid less than white managers, the lawsuit said. Phillips said the argument was moot because district managers had no opinion on employee salaries.
Starbucks instead took steps to “punish white employees who worked in the area” in an “effort to reassure the community that it responded appropriately to the incident,” the lawsuit said.
Starbucks lawyers claim Phillips was fired because the company needed stronger leadership following his arrest.
Starbucks is seeking a new trial, arguing that jurors were allowed to stay despite expressing a negative opinion of the company, that incorrect information in witness testimony “poisoned the well” and that Phillips should not have received the state’s “Double damages” is the federal charge, the Inquirer reported.
At the same time, Phillips’ lawyers also want Starbucks to be ordered to pay $1.4 million in legal fees between 2018 and 2023.
Video of the arrest sparked a national outcry, and the company later settled with the pair for an undisclosed amount and offered a free college education.
The pair reached a symbolic deal with the city of Philadelphia, $1 each, with officials committing to a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. The Philadelphia Police Department has adopted a new policy on how it deals with people accused of trespassing on private property, warning businesses not to abuse police power.