Ray Schmidt, 32, said that about six to eight weeks ago, his store manager in Strongsville, Ohio, asked workers to remove a Pride flag that had been hanging on the wall for at least a year because “it’s not inclusive to everyone.” Was” .”
Mr. Schmidt, a shift supervisor who is helping organize a union at the store, said that since then “you wouldn’t even know it’s Pride Month at Starbucks, going wild for our stores, where maybe 80 to 90 percent of the people who work there are LGBTQ”
The investigation into Pride decorations at Starbucks stores follows similar controversies at some of the country’s most prominent companies. Beer brand Bud Light has been dealing with the fallout of a social media campaign involving a transgender influencer for months. Target, one of the nation’s largest retailers, said it moved its Pride displays in some stores after workers received threats,
The backlash for inclusive marketing comes in the form of a flood of legislation attempting to roll back LGBTQ rights.
Starbucks insists it has community support for decades Supported same-sex marriage and civil rights for LGBTQ workers with workplace policies, charities, and Supreme Court briefs. In 2022, Starbucks earned a top rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which assesses LGBTQ equity in companies based on their benefits, policies and culture.
The company’s inclusive policy is one of the reasons why many people want to work there.
Meighin Martin, who has worked for Starbucks for almost two years, said, “This is the first place I’ve worked where I’ve been surrounded by the gay community.”
Workers displayed a pride flag, rainbow-colored paper chains and rainbow lights inside a Starbucks in Madison, Wis., for nearly a month. But on Sunday, a district manager visited “to make sure everything was up to standard,” said Matt Cartwright, a shift supervisor at the store.