Starbucks, this is…weird

We are Working Washington

Remember all that controversy about the unequal paid parental leave policy Starbucks has been pushing? The policy gave baristas three times less paid leave than corporate employees. It also left out baristas who weren’t birth mothers — like new dads and adoptive parents.

The good news: Starbucks workers, customers, and even some investors spoke out. And Starbucks responded. They improved their plan. Adoptive parents — including many LGBTQ families — now get access to paid leave!

But…here’s where the policy gets weird.

So now if you adopt, both parents get leave, which is great. But if your partner gives birth, you don’t get paid leave. So new dads who DON’T adopt (like say, if they’re married to the birth mother), are excluded. And some new moms whose partners give birth are excluded too. Which makes no sense.

All parents need time with their kids, so every worker should get access to paid parental leave: new moms and new dads, birth parents and adoptive parents, in the stores and in the headquarters.

It’s great that Starbucks wants to expand parental leave…but right now, it seems like they’re going out of their way to find different groups of people to leave out. It just doesn’t make sense.

So let’s ask them: What are you thinking? Why include adoptive dads but not dads whose partners give birth? Why are you making this so complicated? Why are you still giving baristas so much less?

Starbucks is clearly listening to us — and we’re making change. They know expanding their parental leave policy is the right thing to do — let’s find out why they’re not doing it.


– Working WA

P.S. If you want more info, check out this article in the Huffington Postfeaturing Gig Harbor Starbucks barista & Working WA member Jess Svabenik!