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Dwarf Gets $75,000 From Starbucks in Discrimination Settlement

August 19, 2011

Starbucks has agreed to pay a former employee $75,000 to settle a discrimination complaint alleging she was fired from an El Paso shop for her dwarfism.

The barista, Elsa Sallard, had asked during her orientation for a stool or small stepladder to accommodate her small stature, a request that was disregarded, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged in a lawsuit on her behalf.

She was terminated over concerns she posed a “danger” to customers and employees, the lawsuit said.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, however, praised Starbucks for its response to the lawsuit.

“Starbucks swift action to work constructively with the EEOC in this case, not only by compensating the applicant who was turned away, but by committing to additional training for other stores in the El Paso area, sends the right signal from the corporate office,” Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, said in a news release.

Starbucks agreed to conduct training for managers at all El Paso locations in Americans With Disabilities Act compliance.

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