(RTTNews) – In line with a complaint filed with the Federal Labor Commission, Starbucks reportedly told its baristas that forming unions could impact the gender-affirming healthcare coverage the company offers to transgender employees. .
The complaint follows news that 100 of the coffee chain’s 9,000 U.S. cafes have voted to form unions under Workers United over the past seven months. Under interim CEO Howard Schultz, the coffee chain tried to prevent the union from forming by focusing on potential collective bargaining loopholes, such as federal labor laws, that prevent the company from increase wages in cafes, which have unions without contract negotiations. .
The union’s latest complaint against the company was filed on Monday. A transgender employee at an Oklahoma City site told media she believed her manager used a “veiled threat” during a conversation. The manager allegedly told the employee that her benefits could get better, stay the same or get worse if the store formed a union and made special reference to its benefits for trans healthcare.
Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told media the claims were false. The coffee chain’s health insurance has covered sex reassignment surgery since 2012 and a wider range of gender-affirming procedures, like hair transplants or breast reduction, since 2018. Last month, the company said she would cover travel expenses for gender-revealing surgeries. even as state lawmakers target transgender rights.
Through mid-March, more than 150 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures asking to limit access to health care, sports, restrooms and education, NBC said. News. Oklahoma, for example, passed just three anti-trans laws this year.
Starbucks is often praised for its long history of supporting LGBTQ+ workers and the wider community, especially during Pride Month in June. The company said its centuries-old policies, including healthcare coverage for same-sex domestic partners and employees with terminal illnesses, were inspired by a Starbucks employee who died of complications from AIDS.
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