Starbucks’ labor practices have been the subject of scrutiny for some time now, with allegations of union-busting and the like. The coffee giant is being further criticized after a viral tweet showcased a Starbucks employee being asked to change the day they put down their dog to accommodate the workplace.
The viral tweet, which accumulated over 241,100 likes and 12,700 retweets, was posted by Twitter user @lai_lette. It shows two screenshots of messages exchanged between her and her boss, along with the caption: “That time that my boss asked me if I could change the day I put my dog to sleep for @Starbucks”
According to the screenshots featured in the text, the manager told the worker: “Hey any chance you can work 130-330 today?”
“I’m sorry to do this but I’m trying to find coverage for my Sunday shift. I have to put my dog down on Saturday night and I will be an absolute mess. She’s my best friend,” the worker responded.
“Is there a way you could do it on a night where you don’t work the next day?” the manager asked the worker, according to the screenshots.
Commenters shared their own stories from their time at Starbucks or with another job that was not understanding of the time they needed to grieve the loss of a loved one.
“When my sister unexpectedly passed away I told my boss I would be taking 5 days of bereavement leave (company policy when an immediate family member passes away). My bosses response ‘were you THAT close to your sister?’ I just walked away,” a Twitter user who claimed they worked at Disney for 35 years said.
Another pointed to their hourly wage to argue they don’t get paid enough to find someone to cover their shift when they need time off.
“This was my biggest beef with working there. I’d call in sick and be told to call around to other stores to find someone to cover my shift. You’re the manager, isn’t that your job? I’m not getting paid $7.25 for that,” they wrote.
The coffee giant has been subject to criticism for its alleged treatment of workers as its response to workers unionizing. Workers claim they are “understaffed, overextended, exhausted, and burned-out,” according to Starbucks United, a collective of Starbucks workers advocating for stores to unionize. On Monday, Starbucks granted non-unionized workers higher pay and better benefits, and unionized employees are claiming that’s a tactic by the company to disincentivize stores from unionizing. “Starbucks would not have implemented new benefits without the union campaign. PERIOD,” Starbucks United tweeted after the benefits went into effect.
The DailyDot has reached out to Twitter user @lai_lette via comments and to Starbucks via email.
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*First Published: Aug 2, 2022, 3:15 pm CDT
Vladimir Supica is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot covering trending social media stories.