From the #StarbucksWhileBlack series – Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tribune
A former Starbucks employee who once worked with the manager who last week called the police on two African-Americans and had them arrested had problems with other Black employees as well, according to the Daily Mail.
Ieshaa Cash, a former shift manager who worked at the store located at 18th and Spruce streets, told the publication she was demoted and her pay cut without reason after Holly Hylton was named store manager last year.
Cash said Hylton, 31, was “uncomfortable” working around non-white customers and often targeted them for removal from the store.
Cash began working for Starbucks as a shift supervisor in December 2016; Hylton was hired the following spring.
According to Cash, her new boss was “controlling, aggressive and emotional.” Cash said she was singled out specifically by Hylton.
“Holly always looked for things to complain about and was constantly nitpicking about minor things,” Cash told the paper. “No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I could never do anything to satisfy her.”
Cash provided examples.
“One time I ordered an extra sleeve of cups and she went off and gave me a written warning even though we went ahead and used them anyway,” she said in the report.
Before she left Starbucks, Cash said Hylton demoted her for no reason and made her a standard barista. She also lowered her pay in the process.
“I’ve never been in trouble or disciplined and all the regular customers loved me,” Cash said. “I think it’s because she’s racist, she was trying to push me out because she is uncomfortable with a Black person being there.”
The part-time stand-up comic tried to fight the demotion through district management but claimed she was ignored and her hours slowly reduced at her new store until she quit last month.
Cash said that in the time she was at the 18th and Spruce Streets store, Hylton seemed uncomfortable around non-white customers and avoided serving them.
“Holly was very attentive with all the white customers, always making sure they were happy and served quickly,” Cash said. “But she was cold and standoffish to everyone else and would say, ‘They can wait.’ She often made the baristas serve them so she wouldn’t have to.”
People of all races frequently came into the store to take advantage of the free WiFi, according to Cash. However, Cash said her former manager treated Blacks harshly.
“She always found a reason to kick Black people out. She was way more likely to ask them to leave over white people who hadn’t made a purchase,” she said.