A Christian woman in New Jersey has been fired by Starbucks after refusing to wear a pro-LGBTQ t-shirt, a lawsuit claims.
According to the lawsuit, Betsy Fresse, who had been working as a Starbucks barista for five years, was “assured” by managers that her faith wouldn’t be an issue after she transferred to the Glen Ridge store early last year.
The New York Post reports that months later, in June last year, Fresse noticed a box of Starbucks’ LGBTQ Pride shirts on a desk. Fresse then asked her manager if she’d be required to wear one against her Christian faith. Her manager said no.
Starbucks fired NJ barista for refusing to wear 'Pride' shirt, lawsuit claims https://t.co/Lu8nOVHMo9 pic.twitter.com/eTQ2ImjPE8— New York Post (@nypost) November 26, 2020
However, in late August Fresse was notified by a district manager that her employment had been terminated. A notice of separation from Starbucks cited in the lawsuit claimed Fresse was fired for violating the company’s “core values,” and that she said her colleagues “need Jesus” when she was given the shirt.
“Mrs. Fresse holds the personal religious belief that all people need Jesus,” the lawsuit states. “Mrs. Fresse believes that every Christian is called to love and treat everyone with respect and compassion, irrespective of their religious or other beliefs.”
Starbucks told the New York Post that the claims were “without merit.”