Elsa Sallard, an El Paso woman with dwarfism, wanted a chance to work as a barista. She applied for a job at Starbucks. The manager initially entertained the idea of hiring her. But it quickly became clear that she was not tall enough to easily work with the equipment in the store. She asked to be able to use a footsteps to reach as high as her co-workers, but her manager denied the request, saying that having her standing on a stool would be dangerous for both employees and customers. He fired Sallard.
Sallard, believing she'd received discriminatory treatment, sought help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC agreed, and sued Starbucks in May. The Commission argued that Starbucks had failed to carry out its duties as an employer under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
The EEOC announced the outcome on Thursday: Starbucks settled with Sallard to the tune of $75,000. The company will also implement a training program for managers in El Paso to ensure they understand the ADA and its implications for coffeeshops.