Former Starbucks Manager Who Was Fired After The 2018 Arrests Of Two Black Men Accused Of ‘Trespassing,’ Awarded $25M From The Company

Photo Credit: Facebook/ Shannon Phillips

A former manager of the Starbucks that went viral for calling the police on two black men, was rewarded over $25 million after accusing the franchise of racial discrimination, NY Post reported. 

Shannon Phillips claims the company was

“punishing white employees”

after the 2018 incident that involved two black men who were wrongfully arrested at the store after they were accused of trespassing. Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson made headlines after a viral video showed the two men being removed from the store in handcuffs. The two men were later released but the video had already sparked outrage. Starbucks has since implemented new policy changes and has reached an undisclosed settlement with the men. 

Phillips was a regional manager of operations in Philadelphia and New Jersey, at the time but said she had no involvement in the legal actions taken against Nelson and Robinson. Phillips accused Starbucks of trying to force her to place another white manager (that allegedly had no connection to the incident) on administrative leave. Phillips refused to follow the orders given and was later terminated. 

“[White employees were being] punished in an effort to convince the community that it had properly responded to [Nelson and Robinson’s] incident,”

Phillips’s lawsuit claimed. 

Starbucks responded stating that Phillips was let go because they

“need someone more experienced with ‘leading’ during a business crisis.”

Fast forward 4 years later, Phillips was recently rewarded $600,000 in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages, by a New Jersey jury that ruled unanimously in her favor. It was ruled that Starbucks

“displayed racial injustice and violation of federal/state anti-discrimination laws.”

#Clique, what are your thoughts?

Our biggest stories, straight to your box.

Sign up now to get our essential daily briefs on politics' Environment, Royals and more.

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookies Statement


Editors Picks