Portland News

Starbucks’ diversity policy leads executives to a legal case

Howard Schultz among executives dealt with a legal case for Starbucks' diversity policy
Howard Schultz among executives dealt with a legal case for Starbucks' diversity policy

Image source: Starbucks

Starbucks is among the many companies that have highlighted the importance of diversity, and they are keen to emphasize this by adopting new policies to achieve their goal.

However, the policies put in place by the coffee giants have become a problem to some, and the leaders are at the receiving end for it.

The issue

Starbucks Corp officers and directors are the targets of a lawsuit filed by a conservative think tank.

The complaint was born from the belief that the coffee chain’s “woke” efforts have only resulted in racial discrimination.

Read also: NLRB Working to Reinstate Buffalo Starbucks Employees After Their Recent Dismissal

The complaint

The National Center for Research on Public Policy filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Starbucks’ hiring goals for people of color; outsourcing to “diverse” vendors and advertisers; and executive compensation tied to diversity.

According to the complaint, the push for diversity “benefits them personally to pose as virtuous advocates of ‘Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity,’ even as it harms the company and its owners.

A Starbucks shareholder said the policies force the company to make decisions based on race, benefit minorities, and violate federal and state civil rights laws.

35 current and former executives and directors, including interim CEO Howard Schultz, are among the defendants of the case.

Read also: Elon Musk of SpaceX and Mike Sievert announce collaboration for space-based cell coverage for mobile phones

Starbucks and diversity

As of July 3, Starbucks had more than 34,948 stores worldwide, including 17,050 in the United States.

The coffee giant is one of many companies that have focused on diversity and education, particularly in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Six months after his death, Starbucks announced plans to include more black, Indigenous and other people of color in order to gain opportunities for at least 30% of the jobs in American companies.

The company also aims to have people of color make up 40% of U.S. retail and manufacturing jobs by 2025 and to tie executive salaries to its diversity efforts.

In January 2021, Starbucks announced plans to nearly double its annual multi-vendor spend to $1.5 billion by 2030.

The company also pledged to allocate 15% of its 2022 advertising budget to minority-owned and “targeted” media companies.


Starbucks bosses sued by think tank over diversity push in the US

Starbucks executives, directors are sued over diversity policies

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.