Starbucks stores across the country closed earlier this week to hold anti-bias training for their employees. This move comes on the heels of a controversial incident in one of the company’s Philadelphia stores. Two black men were arrested for loitering in a Starbucks while they awaited a business partner for a meeting there. The arrests sparked fierce debate throughout the nation about what constitutes public space and why some patrons of coffee shops are held to a different standard than others.

What is Unconscious Bias Training?

A spotlight has been shone on unconscious bias training because of this incident. Used by police departments, corporations and other organizations around the globe, it’s a form of training that forces people to confront the racial biases they may or may not realize they have. While many companies already use unconscious bias training for their staff, many are stepping up their game and ensuring that the personal beliefs of employees don’t leak into their professional lives.

Changes for Employees and Patrons of Starbucks

In addition to the unconscious bias training Starbucks held earlier this week, they also plan to update their policies about guest usage of their spaces. An old policy requiring visitors to make a purchase in order to use a Starbucks bathroom has now been eliminated. The company has settled out of court with the two men who were arrested. They say it’s the first step to ensuring Starbucks is a welcoming place for everyone to enjoy.

Help for Those Facing Discrimination at Work

Are you being harassed at work because of your national origin? Were you denied  a job opportunity due to your ethnicity? The best thing you can do is discuss your situation with the human resources department as well as your direct supervisor. This often times leads to immediate action.

If you feel that you need professional assistance, contact a Virginia employment attorney who is experienced in protecting the rights of victims in your position.

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