Is The New Starbucks Bathroom Policy Putting Employees & Public At Risk?

Published on May 25, 2018

Starbucks has been in the news a lot lately… and not for the right kind of reasons, either.

A lot of it has circulated around their washrooms, too.

Some of them are weird, one-off kind of stories, like these:

One guy in set his underwear on fire … in a Starbucks washroom… at least he took them off, first.

One Starbucks bathroom made the news because of some creep set up a camera in it.

And just yesterday, a Starbucks bathroom in Newark NJ had a body discovered in it. (Cause of death not yet determined.)

But most of the bathroom stories go directly to their policy.

That time the cops in Philly arrested two guys in Starbucks after refusing to leave when asked, and for using the toilet without ordering anything led to a change in their policy nationwide. The fact that they were black became a big part of the narrative.

As a result, Starbucks revised their policy to permit anyone using their toilet whether they had ordered anything or not.

Totally the PC and Social Justice thing to do, right?

What could go wrong… right?

Well, since you’ve asked… that policy has endangered both the staff and the public.

Here’s the experience of Carlos Nieto:

That’s not just a diabetic needle,” a downtown Starbucks store manager told barista Carlos Nieto after he was pricked by a needle during a closing shift last August.

After a day of slogging through drink orders, Nieto, 21, said he and his coworkers were closing down the store. They all just wanted to go home. Nieto tossed the trash bags—some from behind the coffee bar and another from the bathroom—into a dumpster. When he tried to make room for more bags, something pricked his left index finger.

It turned out to be a used hypodermic needle.

When Nieto reported the incident, his store manager said he should “probably go to the doctor.” But it was nearly 10 p.m. on a weekend night, Nieto said. And he had to work the next few days, too.

“Three days afterward, I went to the doctor,” said Nieto. “The doctors told me I should’ve gone to the ER that night [of the incident]. The [required] medicine, which is a preventative for HIV, only works in the 72 hours after you’ve been pricked.”

He mentally panicked while he walked to the pharmacy to get his medication.

“I was on the verge of tears outside the Bartell Drugs on Capitol Hill. And I was like, ‘What if I have HIV? Starbucks might have just ruined my life.'”
Source: The Stranger

“Homeless drop-in center”

In a Starbucks subreddit, people are voicing concerns that the new policy will lead to stores being filled with homeless people and drug users. One user who claims they work at a Chicago Starbucks wrote that a homeless person using the bathroom got into a fight with a customer and police requested to see the store policy before taking action.

“This is exactly the kind of behavior that I fear will drive all the regular customers away, at least from urban locations. Opposing racism is nice and all, but it is not the responsibility of Starbucks to resolve all urban problems at one location let alone turn its stores into homeless drop-in centers,” another user wrote in response.
Source: FoxNews

Here is another young employee who got stuck with a needle:

Managers and baristas regularly deal with a range of problems in the restrooms, from drug use to defecation outside the toilets, according to some current and former employees.

“Drug use wasn’t happening in the bathroom every day, but it was definitely something that was happening once a week. The cops were called a lot,” said Darrion Sjoquist, 21 years old, who worked as a barista at a Seattle Starbucks two years ago.

Once, when he was taking out the bathroom trash, he said he was pricked by a hypodermic needle. He said he and other Seattle baristas asked Starbucks to equip the bathrooms with Sharps containers—the kind of locked boxes found in doctors’ offices—to encourage drug users to properly dispose of their needles.
Source: WSJ

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