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White former Starbucks manager who was awarded $25M after jury found she was fired over her race is about to get even more money

Image source: YouTube screenshot

A white former Starbucks manager — who was awarded $25 million after claiming in a lawsuit that she was fired because of her race — is getting even more money.

U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky on Wednesday ordered Starbucks to pay Shannon Phillips — a former 13-year employee at the company — just over $2.7 million in back pay, front pay, and tax damages, PhillyVoice reported, citing court records.

The ruling followed a June decision by a federal jury in Camden, New Jersey, saying Starbucks violated Phillips' civil rights, as well as a New Jersey law prohibiting discrimination based on race, the outlet said.

What's the background?

In 2018, two black men — Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson — were in a Philadelphia Starbucks and were told they couldn't use the restrooms unless they bought something.

They refused to leave or purchase anything, saying they were waiting for a third party to arrive. An employee eventually called police, and the pair were arrested but never charged with any crime.

Kevin Johnson, then-CEO of Starbucks, went into damage control, traveling to Philadelphia to apologize to the men and ordering 8,000 Starbucks stores to close for an afternoon so that nearly 175,000 employees could undergo racial sensitivity training.

Phillips wasn't the manager on duty during the arrest took nor was she involved in the decision to call police. She was a regional director overseeing 100 stores in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and had little input regarding the stores' day-to-day operations.

More from PhillyVoice:

In the aftermath of the arrests and protests against them, Phillips alleged that she "worked tirelessly" on the company's behalf to "repair community relations while ensuring employee and customer safety." Her lawsuit claimed that Starbucks sought to "punish" white employees — even those who played no role in the incident — in an effort to show that the company had properly responded to the arrests.

One of Phillips' supervisors, a black woman, allegedly told her to place a white employee who oversaw Philadelphia stores on administrative leave over allegations of discriminatory conduct, according to the lawsuit. Phillips claimed she was ignored when she presented information to clear the employee's name.

The lawsuit also alleged that Starbucks did not take steps to punish a black district manager who was responsible for the store at 1801 Spruce St., where the arrests occurred. Phillips was fired on May 9, 2018, less than one month after the arrests took place.

Starbucks has denied Phillips' claims that she was wrongfully terminated due to her race, PhillyVoice said, adding that the company didn't have anything new to say following the newest ruling.

The paper added that Nelson and Robinson reached a settlement with the city shortly after the incident, receiving $1 and a pledge for a $200,000 contribution from the city to create a youth entrepreneurship program.

Starbucks ordered to pay additional $2.7 million to Shannon Phillipsyoutu.be

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