A sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former teen employee against Starbucks, was recently settled by the company just weeks before the trial was set to start.
In her lawsuit, 20-year old Kati Moore, who was 16 when she worked at Starbucks as a barista, alleged that her 24-year-old supervisor Tim Horton demanded sex and she was pressured to have sex with him.
Moore claimed that Horton sent her hundreds of text messages and made daily demands of sex from her. One of Horton’s messages specifically said, “I’d like to f— tomorrow.”
She also reported that other Starbucks supervisors and managers were aware of their “relationship” but did nothing to stop it even though it is against company policy.
Starbucks has a strict policy against sexual harassment and also prohibits managers dating baristas. However, they have no policies with regard to teen employees under 18 who have a relationship with their bosses.
Although initially, Starbucks was set to contest the claim, it later on agreed to a settlement of the case. The amount of the settlement was undisclosed and it was not indicated whether Starbucks would create and implement policies to protect teen employees.
It’s great that Starbucks manned up to the charges and compensated the victim. Teen employees who experience sexual harassment is unfortunately, a very common occurrence in today’s workplace so as much as possible, all companies should be held liable for failing to protect the rights of their workers, especially teen employees.