Starbuck says it did not fire Betsy Fresse for not wearing a top that supported LGBTQ+ Pride. However, she has filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
Mrs Fresse, who worked at a Starbucks in New Jersey in 2019, says she did not wear a Pride T-shirt that summer because of her religious beliefs. She said the store manager had agreed she would not have to and already knew of her Christian beliefs because she requested Sundays off and certain evenings to attend church meetings, according to NBC.
A month later she alleges that she was dismissed by the district manager because her behaviour "was not in compliance with Starbucks' core values" and that she said her colleagues "need Jesus" when she was given the T-shirt.
Starbucks claims her allegations are false and that she was not asked to wear the T-shirt.
"We are very aware of the claims by Mrs Fresse, which are without merit and we are fully prepared to present our case in court.
"Specific to our dress code, other than our green apron, no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected."
Her termination notice stated of her non-compliance with their core values: "We enforce these values when we embrace inclusion and diversity, and welcome and learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives."
Fresse claims she was unlawfully discriminated against and is seeking backpay, covering of legal costs and an injunction to prevent Starbucks from "failing to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs" of employees.