Starbucks Fires Employee on Food Stamps for Eating a Sandwich from the Garbage

Comments

1
Fuck that. Does Starbucks want us all in an over-regulated yet Hobbesian hellscape? Also, "Separated" is the most bizarre, cultish euphemism I have heard in awhile.
2
Job Separation is a common term used to cover all forms of job-leavers: layoffs, terminations, resignations, etc. It's not solely a Starbucks term.
3
Lovely. I'll add this to their heroic efforts to dodge tax liabilities here in the UK to the reasons why I dislike them.
4
God I remember being that desperate myself back in the day when I was pregnant and huge, hungry, and trying to make it as a full time college student and a part time burger flipper. My heart goes out to Coulson.
5
Well, that's a shitty deal. It's so lame that that kind of thing isn't permissible in extenuating circumstances. Blanket policies suck.
6
i cant stand hateful little worker bees with nothing better to do than report to human resources...they remind me of good obedient fascists trying to brown nose their superiors for a pat on the back...pathetic... oh, and by the way..f@ck starbucks..
7
Awww... why does he stick out for his pissass weakling boss? The boss who fired him when she could have looked the other way and just told him to keep stealing as long as no one saw?

Since she didn't that means she is a coward with the moral backbone of a slug or WANTED to fire him.
8
Starfucks.
9
Welcome to the new Guilded Age. How much do you want to bet that debtor prisons will make a come back?
10
Whoever came up with the idea to call counter-jockeys "store partners" should be punched in the dick.
11
Also that policy of sending home workers during the day if its slow... wth? Its like you guys live in the 19th century and at some point I expect indentured servants to pop up again.
12
All US taxpayers are already subsidizing huge companies that pay shit wages, like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, McDonalds, etc., since their employees require government aid programs just to survive. This inhumane state of affairs is beyond appalling.

This issue is deeply personal for me, since I worked three part-time jobs in college to make rent, and I shudder when I think about all of the movie theater popcorn--which would have been thrown out at the end of each night--that I ate just to fill my belly. Can't eat popcorn to this day from hunger PTSD, needless to say.
13
I can see the head line now: "LOPTMANN eats past pull date food, gets really really sick, sues employer for negligence for not telling him eating past pull date items might cause illness and that eating past pull date items is in violation of Health Department codes."

Loptmann needs to take personal responsibility on this one. He broke the rules.
14
“We do not want our partners to consume potentially spoiled products and get sick.”

If I patronized Starbucks, I think I'd find it especially worrisome that their spokesperson stated and therefore company-official, position is that food coming out of their cases may already be dangerously spoiled.
15
@5- The idea of firing someone for stealing TRASH is insane.
16
@7 I'm guessing it's because someone who saw it happen reported Loptman, and to not act after having something reported would have caused more problems for the store from a staff management position. But what Hutson said it does seem that there could have been a warning instead of a termination.

working for a corporation is such a double edged sword - Starbucks is a pretty good employer (the health benefits may be $$, but the years I was working as a barista/server I never had a job that offered health insurance at any price), but it also means there is less flexibility in dealing with things on an individual basis.

I feel for Loptman. When I first moved to Seattle I was totally broke, and often the only food I ate all day was the 2nd day baked goods my cafe employer was going to toss at the end of the day. Being hungry sucks - being hungry and watching edible food get thrown away sucks more.
17
All the crap they sell is garbage. Overpriced garbage at that.
18
It also needs to be said that the people who develop these "policies" have no goddamn idea what it's like to try to survive on low wages and go hungry. Fuck them with a rusty chainsaw.
19
Ok, so someone saw him take the sandwich and told the manager about it? Was it to alert the manager that the coworker was stealing or hungry? I can't wrap my head around why no one was concerned that this person was obviously hungry! If I saw my coworker eating from the trash, I'd talk to them. "Hey, are you okay?" Four words. That's all it takes.
20

I wouldn't want to be served a beverage or food by someone who just stuck his hand in the garbage to eat an expired sandwich. Yuck!

21
@15
It is a pretty standard restaurant policy. I worked at a pizza restaurant all through college. They had the same policy but many of the cooks would still made up fake pickup orders. At close they'd fish the boxes from the trash to take home. These guys weren't starving though. They were just stoners who were looking for a little pizza to go with their after work buzz.
22
Well, stealing from anyone's garbage is actually a crime, so...

The real travesty is that Starbucks won't feed its employees during their shift.
23
I worked a shitty IT support job and supplemented my income with a few extra K in student loans. I'll gladly take my extra debt over this crumb-eating 3-jobs crap everyone else apparently had to do.
24
@13: Bullshit. He eat it out of the trash. Not only is there a reasonable expectation of spoilage, once any item is placed in the trash it ceases to be an individual/entity's property. That's why the police can rifle through your trash for evidence without a warrant or any kind of notice. Also, the stated reason for termination was stealing, not opening the store up to liability.
25
@6 - could not agree more - there are authoritarian bootlickers in every organization. This is why I keep a job where I am the boss of the shop, even if I could make significantly more by going out and working for someone else.

The thing that shocks me - and I don't buy this is about corporate liability for workers getting sick - is that they don't deal with loss/theft by paying a portion of their shitty wages in food. I know I'm a middle-aged crank, but when I was a teen/twenty-something like this kid, that was SOP: you got a meal/food. I fed - along with my step-brother who worked for a similar joint - nearly the entire house (six kids and two parents) on day-old food from the bakery where I worked. My step-brother brought home the Bojangles by the bucket load. My parents had no idea how good they had it grocery-wise.

It's not like I really needed another reason to avoid their over-priced over-burned crappy coffee (it's weak to save on beans, but they figure by charring it they can give the impression it's "strong" - Peets is vastly better), but now I've got one on a par with Chick-fil-A - another place I'd never go anyway.
26
@20 Ha ha! Doesn't seem that Bailo has ever heard of soap and water. I's expect no less from someone willingly living in Kent. Maybe your odor is why all those young waitresses you lurk over at Kent Station find you repulsive?
27
@19 We can be fairly confident that whoever reported this was a shitty human being who wanted bad things to happen to Loptmann. The answer to "Why didn't they help him?" is "Because they wanted to harm him."
28
@2 fair enough, but it sure does sound cruelly robotic in this les mis kind of situation.
29
uhuhuhuhuhuhuh, yeah so the real story, manager sees employee eat trash, manager fires employee because manager thinks employee is dirty/creepy/homeless/trashman.

just post the lady's email or whatever so we can tell her that dirty/creepy/homeless/trashman is people tooooooozzzzzzzz.
30
It would sicken you to know how much food your beloved Metropolitan Market puts into the trash on a daily basis. Not even because it is spoiled or out of date. Most of it because it isn't aesthetically pleasing enough to be on the shelves.
31
Yup. That was the policy at Seattle's Best as well.

There was an incredible amount of food that was thrown away. None of it officially spoiled. And, to prevent store employees from stealing the food, it all had to be thrown away. Taking it home was a separatable offence. Movie theaters that I worked for realized that they paid their employees shit wages, and let them take home popcorn. But, the corporate coffee shops? Nope. Safeway delis were the same for the longest time.

They do that to encourage you to spend money on their shitty food during your shifts.
33
@15, @21 - definitely a standard corporate policy. In college, when we whippersnappers would dumpster dive, the local grocery store started pouring something - oil? I don't remember - in their dumpsters to keep us from being able to eat it.

It's not only about spoilage and potential health liability - When I worked for a Perkins restaurant in Cincinnati, they decided to change the style of plastic cups they used. They threw out all of the perfectly usable existing cups in the whole restaurant, and we were told it would be a fireable offense to take them out of the garbage.

I still have my two Perkins cups from our stealth recon mission that night ...
34
" Even if he was scheduled, he could still be sent home if the store got slow."

This ought to be straight up illegal. You make a worker's schedule 1-2 weeks in advance, they show up, they get paid. Not paying for a shift agreed upon in advance is theft.
35
As a former partner I can tell you that yes that is their policy's but as the Starbucks spokesperson said, eating mark outs will not get you fired unless there are other factors in play.
When l lost my job at WAMU in 2008, and spent the next 18 months trying to keep body and soul together working part time at Starbucks I pretty much lived on mark outs. I was a closer, and at the end of the night we divided up the sandwiches and yogurts from the cold case that had expired that day. It helped keep me fed, and everybody did it including the shift supervisors.
Unless you got greedy or stupid, there was no issue.
36
This is none of our business. It's a private company. He sold them his labor in a private transaction. It's between those two. It's got nothing to do with us.
37
@31 Seattle's Best is owned by Starbucks. Of course the policy is the same.
38
As an ex "partner" of Starbucks, I watched my supervisor mark-out 20+ sandwiches/pastries DAILY, individually wrapped, tossed in the garbage to rot. Starbucks claims to care about their people and community but truly they don't care. They just care about their profits!
39
I'm sorry he's having to look for work. That's just the worst. What is that pendant around his neck?
40
I'm just going to point out that if they wanted to fire everyone that ever took a markout, they'd pretty much need an entirely new workforce.

Someone didn't like that kid and reported him.
41
#24 Bullshit. He broke not only Starbucks' policy of eating past pull date, but he broke State Health Code too. Whether you agree with either is immaterial. The trash was not in the alley if I know what happened, it was in the store. Starbucks' property. Not subject to police search as it was in the store as I said. There are reasons for pull dates. They might be non-sense dates, but talk to the Health Department. Starbucks does not make those rules they just follow them. And as for stealing, that's the manager's call and she made it. I get the impression Loptmann is an immature individual first for not eating something BEFORE his shift, and second for not working at a second store to increase his hours. YEAH Starbucks does allow its employees to work at more than one store. REMEMBER PEOPLE your complaint should be with the Health Department for insisting on pull dates YOU find wasteful. Starbucks is just living by THIER rules. Grow up for christ's sake.
42
two words: constructive discharge. Except, it didn't work, so they stacked the deck and fired him.
43
@41 - That "eating something past pull date" thing was a complete asspull. Breakfast sandwiches are dated with a day stamp, not a time stamp. If they have a "Tuesday" on them, they are thrown out Tuesday night BEFORE THE STORE CLOSES, at the discretion of the shift supervisor. If someone decides to buy a sandwich before the supervisor deems it time to get rid of markouts, they are actually encouraged to sell same-day food... even if it is five minutes before markout time. The Health Department doesn't have anything to do with it.

However, you are spot on in that when you are a Starbucks partner, you can work at any Starbucks operated by the company... it doesn't even have to be in the same goddamn state!
44
Starbucks isn't the only place with a policy like this in place...I got in trouble and almost fired once for trying to steal uneaten (and bound for the garbage) buffet pizza from the Godfathers I worked at in my poverty-stricken college days. The fuckers would throw away like five pies every lunch, so it didn't seem like that big a deal.

But my managers cited health department regulations for their assholery, not "stealing"...that's seriously lame.
45
Starbucks calls its employees 'partners'? That's some fucked-up Newspeak right there.
46
@39, looks like a pendant of Thor's Hammer
47
was this the same guy I saw drinking at the rickshaw Saturday night? YUP! Don't bitch about being poor if you can afford cocktails....
48
I would also like to point out that while the kid could have been getting 40 hours a week by covering shifts at other stores, he still would have qualified for food stamps working full time. $9.94 x (40 hours x 4 weeks) = $1590.40, which is below the gross income maximum for a single-person household to receive Basic Food benefits. (seen here: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/food/BFQAs.pd… )

$9.94 is also $0.77 above current minimum wage, meaning he had received at least one raise already, probably two considering he had been employed for over a year.
49
I thought Starbucks had a deal with donating unsold food to the non-profit Northwest Harvest? At least they did, in the past.

Trash is trash, it can't be considered stealing. I call bullshit.
50
Let's see here: dude violates company policy, dude gets caught violating company policy, dude goes to Stranger to complain.

Dude, good luck finding another job with your résumé anywhere within 200 miles of Seattle.
51
It's a dumb policy, but there is some economic reasoning behind it.

When I was a clerk at Fred Meyer, I often lived for weeks off of closing time fried chicken, jojos, etc. It wasn't being thrown out, however; the deli manager would just mark down items in the deli case to "lower than dirt cheap" for the last hour of the day to get rid of it and still make a buck or two. I'd get $30 worth of deli food for $5 and eat it until it actually did go bad in my fridge.

I guess it was a common enough practice that it began to be abused; deli managers were having extra food made at the last minute and then marking it down so employees could buy it cheap.

Starbucks might have the same reasoning; it keeps store managers from over-ordering on lemon pound cakes and doughnut pops so employees don't take home expired stuff to cater their fancy dress parties (or whatever).

To wrap up this boring, stupid tale: The "No expired/markdown food sales" policy is one of the things that motivated me to quit that job and get one that paid me enough to afford to buy regular food and made me into the corporate titan I am today.
52
As a former Starbucks Manager, I was told under no uncertain terms to systematically take action to separate employees which did not meet the "Starbucks" definition of an ideal barista (older employees, any employee who was paid over the market cap, alternative employees (all definitions) and employees who were unable to move up the ladder). It was a "top-down" directive and it was discussed during all of my performance evaluations. I was told that 100% turnover was acceptable but not to do it all at once or it would look bad.
53
WTF happened to Starbucks? 10 years ago they sent home workers with bags of marked out sandwiches and pastries. Now they're not allowed to eat them at all? Is this a standard industry practice now? When I was a barista at a different chain a million years ago I basically lived on leftover croissants and madeleines. Blarg.
54
@34,

I agree with you, but good luck with that. The big boys could suck up a policy like that, but a huge number of small businesses rely on having employees on call that can be sent away when things get slow.

The worst job I ever had was like that. My hours kept getting cut back to the point that I was working only ten hours a week, but my entire purpose of working there was to fill in for my coworker whenever she was out sick, making it very difficult for me to find a second job. My boss ultimately did me a huge favor when she fired me (for bullshit reasons).
55
@52: Where was this? That certainly was not the case in my district. In all the stores I worked we had plenty of older baristas as well as "alternative" ones of all stripes including a partner with Downs Syndrome.
Your district manager was an asshole.
56
When I was a really little kid, I'd wait up late with my siblings, hungry as fuck, just hoping my dad (who delivered pizzas as a second job) would come home with one made in error. I don't know if those came through the trash, but I wouldn't have cared. We also dumpster-dove for expired junk food at the gas station where my mom worked. One of the employees figured it out, but instead of reporting her (what kind of asshole does that?) he started just leaving the stuff beside the dumpster instead of throwing it in.

My heart goes out to this guy so so much.
57
"bind not the mouths of the kine who tread your grain"
58
stop snitchin'!
59
<3 @ 56.

If a single nasty old sausage muffin was that big of a deal, they should have asked him to pay for it, and warn him not to do it again. You shouldn't just outright fire a person for it. Maybe ask him WHY he's eating the garbage. God damn. I'd like to hope there's more to this story and that they're not seriously this senseless.
60
What I have learned most from this is that I would never want to work for any of you ever.
61
How was the springs strike "extraordinarily successful"? None of their demands happen. And the fact that this guy had to take food out of the garbage is proof how " extraordinarily successful" the strikes were. Sure the strikes got some attention and people talking, but that makes it as successful as Kony 2012.
62
My wife is an ex-Starbucks employee. While she has very little in the way of nice things to say about the company, she did say she worked with this guy when she was filling shifts a couple of times. She said the guy was very entitled, rude to both coworkers and customers, and nobody liked working shifts with him because of his rudeness. I imagine when the Starbucks spokesman said "a partner could be separated for an infraction like this if it was the culmination of broader, ongoing performance issues", it was the likely explanation for the termination.
63
Ugh, how was the strike "extraordinarily successful"? None of their demands happened. And cases like this poor guy getting fired show how "extraordinarily successful" was. Sure the strike got some people talking about it, but that makes it as successful as kony 2012.
64
Bah, sorry for the double post, I thought the first one didn't post.
65
Im really getting tired of starbucks. who the heck cares they were throwing it away, if they had it on the shelf a minute before someone could have purchased it but he grabbed it and I dont see anything wrong with a hungry person eating it....
66
My brother used to work at Dick's back in the late 70's, and when he'd close up at 2am they'd let him take home any leftover burgers that were otherwise going to be ditched. ("Breakage", they called them.) He'd often come home with a bag full of random burgers, and we'd chow down in the middle of the night while watching NBC News Overnight with Linda Ellerbee (remember that show?). We weren't going hungry to begin with, but if we had been, those bags of burgers would have been lifesavers. Kudos to Dick's for letting their employees avoid throwing out perfectly good food (at least back then).
67
$30 a week in tips? Starbucks customers must really suck.
68
@33- Just because it's standard doesn't make it sane.

My brother worked for a Dunkin' Donuts back when Mark Wahlberg was Markie Mark and policy was the old donuts (like 12 hours old max) got put in a trashbag and placed in the dumpster from which the politely waiting homeless guy would remove them once the employee was back in the store. My brother asked to be allowed to just hand the guy the fucking donuts and skip the insipid charade and was told he would get fired if he was seen doing that.

Fucking insane.
69
There seem to be quite a few chickenshit authoritarian bootlickers on this thread.
70
I worked at Starbucks about a decade ago, and I did live off of "marked out" food - most of us did. My manager knew about it and turned a blind eye. Other Starbucks I worked at had theft that was even more egregious, where it wasn't just fresh food that was eaten and "marked out," but also entire freaking jugs of milk (not to mention cases of whipits.)

I was actually just thinking today about how we used to trade three Venti Frappucinos for a Papa John's pizza. Or Jamba Juice smoothies.

The point I'm making is that this person's manager is using a policy to do something they already wanted to do: fire this employee. I worked at three locations in the Chicago area, and subbed at most of the locations on the Northside at some point during my three years with the company. This kind of stuff happened at EVERY SINGLE STORE. it even happened at Seattle's Best (also, a decade ago, and in Chicago), and the manager of the "regional flagship" store encouraged us to eat mark-outs instead of letting them go to waste, even though it was against company policy.

I hate to cast doubt on this employee, because frankly, I'm sure that they need a job, and I'm sure that their manager didn't have any actual reason to fire them until this documented incident, but this was likely a means of doing the inevitable. Starbucks is a great employer when the economy is booming. I worked for them right before the Dot Com Bust. After the Bust, things went south REAL quick as our regulars dried up.
71
I forgot to mention, when they want to get rid of you, but can't fire you for grounds, they start eliminating your hours. Specifically, they start to make it really hard to make the amount of hours per week to maintain your health insurance. During my time at Starbucks, that was 20 hours per week. Mine got cut to 17 hours after a store transfer. I won't lie, I was not well-liked at that store (I tended to take "too long" to close by doing crazy shit, like actually cleaning during the time alotted to close.)
72
they should just ask employees if they want them before they toss them out. Make the employees sign a waiver releasing liability should you consume something and get sick. Simple. Other food establishments do it all the time. Itʻs ridiculous that they had to fire him for that. but I do know that even trash is considered private property. I tried to help a needy family that would wait outside the grocery store I worked at to go through the trash for food. Iʻd leave the "good looking items" in a cart off to the side and not throw them in the dumpster, sometimes even left some PB&J sandwiches Iʻd made from home...thankfully I didnʻt get fired like this person, but my manager told me that I could no longer let them have any expired items from our store. Needless to say, the company fenced off and locked our trash area. Itʻs sad. People need help. Whether itʻs a little or a lot. Itʻs just a sandwich. People are more important than policies.
73
A "partner" instead of employee and "separated" instead of fired.
Sounds more like jargon from a cult.

"The partner will separate themselves from the flock, never to communicate again. The sun machine will decent from the sky and all the chosen will be allowed to be taken to the star and saved. The separated will not.
74
Just imagine, a Starbucks employee on food stamps had to eat a spoiled sandwich to make ends meet. It reads like the perfect libertarian dystopia that it is.
75
The only time I ever made someone stop digging through our dumpster was when it was a couple mini-punx obviously looking for receipts to scam us. Otherwise, have at it!
76
I was just reminded why I don't do starbucks. They are hypocrites. They talk a good game, but in the end that all it is, just talk.
77
I will bet he didn't mind going home early on days he had somewhere else to be. Starbucks is a fantastic company to work for. Also, they are huge on documenting everything, so I would assume he knew that eating the sandwiches wasn't allowed. I am so tired of everyone wanting handouts.
78
It's bad enough having been down your luck enough to find yourself digging through the garbage for food. To have someone see it and have the nerve to report it is absurd. Clearly they've never been in dire straights. Even so, to have the manager get all high-horse about it. It's a sandwich, did it once, came out of the trash - not off the shelf- give me a break! That's when it's "okay" to look the other way. Not like going through the register and coming up short $50. People need to piss off, seriously.
79
@77

Welcome, new troll and Starbucks spokesmodel.
80
I used to work for a company that let us have the food that are past its freshness date, I'm very grateful to the owner for helping us during our time of needs.

I also understand why Starbucks have to do what they did, they have to protect their image and hold everyone to a higher standard. Unfortunately, cutting peoples hours and the nation being in a recession will result to this.

The manager could have been a little more sympathetic and give a warning, rather than immediately terminating. No one wants to dig in the garbage unless they are really really desperate.
81
I worked at starbucks years ago... and I lived off of marked out bagels, maple oat scones, and muffins. They were going in the trash, but the manager would say "take home what you want... otherwise it is going in the trash." I couldn't afford food most of the time, so this was a plus for me. I was anorexic looking because I was starving. This helped me when I needed it.

Starbucks should be ashamed.
82
I worked out Starbucks years ago, and survived a lot of the time on marked out food items... but back in the day they only had bagels, muffins, and the best maple oat scones. We made and drank as many concoctions of drinks that we could possibly think of... We knew what would go to waste. It was just common knowledge that this is what we all did. It was a great store, one of the busy stores in the district.

We were always cool with each other, the managers understood what was up. At least most of them did. Some were weird and tell you to mark out the drinks you were drinking, etc. The person- guessing shift supervisor that reported this to the manager probably didn't like this guy, or was scared straight by corporate that someone would find out and then the shift supervisor would get in trouble. Basically the person reporting it drank a little too much of the Starbucks "kool aide", well... maybe more like frappacinos.

Starbucks should be ashamed. This kid should get his job back, or some severance. This is no way to treat a person that is hungry and trying to better himself. Fuck. pay him a livable wage. I feel so bad for this kid. I've been there. I bet a lot of these people haven't experienced a time in their life like this, and have no idea how hard it can be... you get desperate.
83
The fact that the guy's on foodstamps has nothing to do with anything, unless it's the Slog and one of their bleeding heart writers decides to gin up a story to make it more pathetic than it otherwise would be. People get canned for dumb reasons from crappy foodservice and retail jobs all the time. Making this some big corporate war against the poor is nonsense, but that's sort of the Stranger's MO, so I guess I shouldn't be shocked. Get yourself a real job at a company that doesn't hire teenagers to do the same job you do if you want not to be under the thumb of stupid policies.
84
@62 - TRUTH. This is, I'm betting, exactly what happened. Being rude, unless you break some very specific rules, isn't really something you can be written up for, and most sbux employees are too passive-aggressive to really do anything about it. If they wanted him gone, they might have just been looking for any old excuse to get rid of him and grabbed this one when it came up.
85
This guy worked so I don't see him as wanting a "hand-out" only a "hand-up."
Split shifts are awful. Getting your hours cut or being sent home because it's slow leaves you scared and stressed. People can't afford food these days.
It is expensive - and more so in "wealthy" areas such as Seattle. If the food is being thrown out, and is in the garbage already, then it should be fair-game to be taken out and consumed. The politics of hunger in America.......
86
I can't believe nobody's made reference to that Seinfeld episode yet...
87
And you will starve again Loptman, unless you know the meaning of the law!
88
A reasonable policy.
89
What happened to having a conscience? Wtf can't they just give the guy a couple of sandwiches so he can take something home to eat? Damn people show some heart and take the time to listen, the man was doing eveything he could to stay afloat in this life sucking corporate world. People need to be people, not puppets of their own policies!
90
When he started getting less hours, he should have looked for a new job, plain and simple. It's his own fault, no matter how you look at it, and a $15/hr minimum wage ($31200/yr)? Well, say hello to inflation, and that's what a 63%.2 raise?

So if they get this 63.2% raise, does that mean that I should get a 63.2% raise as well in my current job? Because I know I could use an extra $29.38/hr ( $61k/yr)

What these geniuses either don't realize, or refuse to acknowledge is that when they ask for a raise like that, I am going to need to increase my own pay by a significant amount in order to maintain my own standard of living as inflation hits. So, with the logic they have, I should be making right around $160k/yr to MAINTAIN my current standard of living if they get this raise. If my own wages do not go up equally as a percentage, then my standard of living, goes down, and the career I have built, is now worth "LESS"

Additionally, why do they want $15/hr? Why not $100/hr? $1000/hr? Seriously, how about $10,000/hr? It won't change anything right? Prices won't go up right? LMFAO!

What is reasonable is that if you don't like how much you are making at your job, you go out and find a different one that either offers real full-time employment, or pays more, or some combination of both.

The facts are he violated policy, and while they didn't have to fire him, they had every right to do so.
91
There are lawyers for wrongful termination. Some won't charge fees unless you win your case. If you're not in a union, call labor commissions.
92
Why did that skank manager even have to say anything to HR? She can't make a decision herself? She's using them to justify her inhumane discompassion. Utter 1% BS.
93
WTF is a 21 year old doing on FoodStamps? You are healthy and strong enough to work, you do not have any kids to feed, WTF?
94
Hard to believe 85 comments from supposed progressives and not one mention of the word union. In a union environment, there are clear rules for terminating employees and a grievance procedure with assistance and sometimes mediation from a shop steward. Whether this employee was right oar wrong, a good or bad employee, he deserved a clear process negotiated with the employer. Everyone deserves that.
95
this is the country we have.
We have employees who eat garbage and get fired.
Look yourself in the mirror and ask your self what can you do to change.
I am embarrassed of our country.
We have 400 billion for f-35 airplanes, we have nothing for hungry workers.
I am not talking about food stamps.
This person works. Has a job.
And is starving. And we don't have plans out there for people who work.
I am not talking about people on the dole.
I am talking about hard working people getting nothing back from this country.
But we have 400 billion for planes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Ma…
96
once something is thrown into the garbage..its considered to be abandoned property....who the fuck are the corporate pigs to say its theft? an alternative to the problem would be to let the employee eat the sandwiches before it goes into the dumpster...this bs is fucking petty
97
"not one mention of the word union. In a union environment, there are clear rules for terminating employees and a grievance procedure with assistance and sometimes mediation from a shop steward. "

Yes, can you imagine how shitty the service will be with baristas who can't be fired? Union coffee shop. Sounds like some horror from the USSR or my home country before Maggie fixed it.

Sounds like his co-worker above got it right - he was an entitled, rude asshole they were looking for an excuse to get rid of. In a union shop he'd be the boss.

Too poor to eat? Horseshit. You wanna bet he has a shinny iPhone, data plan, goes out drinking and clubbing with friends all the time. I did this kind of work at low wages, you ate the food so you could spend your money elsewhere.

Good luck finding another job in Seattle moron.
98
It is stealing. If this weren't a rule, an employee could rest food on top of the garbage and then take it and eat it for free. If this employee had foresight they would have gone to their supervisor and said "This sandwich is going to be thrown out, and I can't afford lunch. Do you mind if I eat it?"

I could afford to eat, but I would always ask my old boss in food service whether she minded me eating something that was going to get thrown out. She would always say yes, but I never took the previous statement as precedent for the next item.

It is stealing, and while the employee is in a bad situation he should have thought ahead and asked.
99
if he grabbed it out of the garbage in the back dumpster its not stealing. its public property.
100
@99 public property? On what planet, Planet Freegan?
101
@87 FTW!

This makes me sick. I'd expect it from a lot of places but I really thought Starbuck's was more progressive. This should have been a slap on the wrist at most (and really not even that). I honestly would have expected them to sit him down and talk about his desparate living situation and maybe offer him a few more hours or give him a gift card to use for food for a little while or something.

Naive of me to expect compassion from a giant corporation who touts their charible work in 3rd wold nations, I know.