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Trouble brewing for Starbucks in workplace discrimination claims

With age comes wisdom, but many Wisconsin employers refuse to see it that way. Treating employees differently based on their age is such an entrenched practice that some employers fail to even view their behavior as discriminatory. For major corporations such as Starbucks, workplace discrimination against older employees appears to almost be its culture.

The Huffington Post recently spoke with seven Starbucks managers -- both current and former -- across five different states who all tell a surprisingly similar story.  In all of their cases, they claim that they were the victims of management bullying. Of the former managers, they reported being either pushed out or fired for one simple violation -- being older than 40.

Victims of this type of discrimination described being the frequent recipient of age-related jokes or comments from higher-ups. Others said management focused more closely on their injuries than those of younger workers. This led to some managers working through injuries and causing themselves more harm in the long run because they feared they would lose their job otherwise.

The complaints of age discrimination are unfortunately not new for Starbucks. A 2013 complaint to a civil rights commission claimed that the company fired a barista who was 65 years old only to replace her with two workers. A 2015 suit accused Starbucks of wrongful termination based on a 63-year-old manager's age, which was settled out of court.

Regardless of work experience, training or education, many Wisconsin workers over the age of 40 still face discrimination. The impact of this type of workplace discrimination can be extremely damaging, both financially and emotionally. Victims can address these outcomes through wrongful termination or discrimination suits, which can provide necessary compensation and may also help protect future workers from similar experiences.

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