A 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale man claims he was fired from his four-year job as manager of a Starbucks in suburban Boca Raton after he told his district supervisor he was HIV-positive.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Stephen Barbosa claims that he was fired when he returned from a two-month medical leave. His supervisor accused him of manipulating the time clock and criticized his repeated absences.
The action violated the Americans With Disability Act, which requires employers to accommodate workers with disabilities, the suit says.
Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson declined to comment on the suit, saying only that the coffee giant “has a zero tolerance for hiring discrimination”, and has strong anti-harassment policies.
The Seattle-based company this year was ranked 78th on Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” because its roughly 95,000 workers get full health insurance benefits, stock and free coffee.