The Chicago Journal

Howard Schultz among executives dealt with a legal case for Starbucks’ diversity policy

Starbucks is among many companies that have emphasized the importance of diversity, and they are working to underscore this by introducing new policies to help them achieve their goal. 

However, the policies put in place by the coffee giants have become a problem for some, and the leaders are at their wit’s end. 

The issue

Starbucks Corp. officers and directors are the targets of a lawsuit filed by a conservative think tank. 

The complaint arose out of the belief that the coffee chain’s “Woke” efforts only resulted in racial discrimination. 

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The complaint 

The National Center for Research on Public Policy filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Starbucks’ hiring goals for people of color; outsourcing to “diverse” vendors and advertisers; and the compensation of the Management Board linked to diversity.

According to the complaint, “benefits them personally to pose as virtuous advocates of ‘Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity,’ even as it harms the company and its owners.”

A Starbucks shareholder said the guidelines require the company to make decisions based on race, assist minorities and violate federal and state civil rights laws. 

Thirty-five current and former executives and directors, including interim CEO Howard Schultz, are among the defendants in the case. 

Read also: Starbucks Locations in Michigan to Join the Unionization Efforts

Starbucks and diversity 

As of July 3, Starbucks had more than 34,948 stores worldwide, including 17,050 in the United States. 

The coffee giant is one of many companies that have focused on diversity and education, particularly in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Six months after his death, Starbucks announced plans to hire more Black people, indigenous people, and other people of color in order to fill at least 30% of the jobs in American businesses. 

The company also aims to have 40% of the U.S. retail and manufacturing jobs owned by people of color in the U.S. by 2025 and to tie executive salaries to its diversity efforts. 

In January 2021, Starbucks announced plans to double its annual multi-vendor spend to $1.5 billion by 2030. 

The company also pledged to allocate 15% of its 2022 advertising budget to minority and “targeted” media companies.


Starbucks bosses sued by think tank over diversity push in the US

Starbucks executives, directors are sued over diversity policies