Starbucks has fired employee Coulson Loptmann for eating discarded food, according to a Tuesday report from TheStranger.com.
The Seattle barista said he made $9.94 per hour at the company and found his hours decreasing to anywhere between 23 and 32 hours per week.
To make ends meet, Loptmann said he began receiving food stamps and that on the day for which he was fired he “hadn’t eaten all day and I was on a seven-hour shift.”
A co-worker reportedly marked the sandwiches as past their acceptable due date, so Loptmann didn’t see the harm in taking one since they were going to be thrown out anyway.
The 21-year-old’s manager heard about the incident and sat him down one week later to drop the unwelcome news.
According to Loptmann, she told him Starbucks HR considered what he did “stealing.”
“So I’m sorry, but I have to terminate you,” Loptmann was told.
Company representative Zack Hutson reiterated part of what the manager allegedly told Loptmann — that “it is a violation of our policy to consume marked-out products,” but Hutson insisted that it was for employees’ own good.
“We do not want our partners to consume potentially spoiled products and get sick,” Hutson said, adding that a one-time consumption of marked-out products would not be grounds for dismissal unless “it was the culmination of broader, ongoing performance issues.”
Loptmann told the website his safety was in no way cited as the reason for his dismissal, and that he had no prior indications that the company was displeased with his performance.
Fast food employee pay has been the subject of controversy as of late. Earlier this month, some fast food workers were planning a national walkout.
Loptmann has voiced his support for such efforts, including one in his native Seattle that seeks to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Interestingly, Starbucks, a company that has supported President Obama (an advocate of raising the minimum wage) appears to be just as guilty of low pay as Walmart, a frequent target of liberal aggression for its supposedly high rate of employees requiring food stamps.
Also interesting is how few hours workers like Loptmann can expect while working for Starbucks, especially in light of this:
As far as the company policy violation is concerned, do you think Starbucks made the right call in terminating Loptmann’s employment?