Judge may throw out transgender woman’s lawsuit against Starbucks

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A  Fresno County judge may throw out Maddie Wade’s lawsuit against Starbucks. The former employee is suing the company for harassment and discrimination.

Wade said her hours were cut and she lost out on a promotion when she announced she was transitioning from male to female.

On Tuesday judge Kimberly Gaab  issued a tentative ruling in Starbucks favor. But Wade’s attorney is hoping she’ll reconsider.

“The point we were trying to impress to the judge was the whole concept of misgendering. Misgendering is when individuals refuse to refer to transgender individuals by the preferred pronouns,” Wade’s attorney Arnold Peter said. 

Wade worked at the Starbucks on Milburn and Herndon. She filed the lawsuit in July 2018.

She said she asked her manager to refer to her using female pronouns, but he would not. 

“The day after I had talked to him about my transition he made me aware that it was challenging for him to accept because of his religious views,” Wade previously said. 

Gaab found there was not enough evidence to prove Wade was harassed or discriminated against. She also noted Wade transferred to another Starbucks location.

A Starbucks spokesperson sent a statement that reads:

“Intentional misgendering is not acceptable conduct at Starbucks. It does not align with our mission and values, nor with our employment policies regarding harassment and discrimination. In this particular case, we are not arguing that misgendering can’t be the basis for a discrimination or harassment claim. Rather, we believe the facts of the case do not support an actionable claim for discrimination or harassment. We have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and we have clear avenues and processes in place for any partners who feel discriminated against or harassed. Starbucks has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to offer one of the most comprehensive trans health policies in the world.”

Gaab is reviewing the evidence and is expected to make a decision within the next few days. Peter said if the ruling is not in their favor, they will appeal. 

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