SEATTLE– A Seattle Starbucks employee was fired last week after he fished a discarded sandwich out of the trash.
The employee, Coulson Loptmann, said he couldn’t get enough hours to pay his bills and survives partly on food stamps, according to The Stranger.
The plastic-wrapped breakfast sandwich that he grabbed out of the trash had been marked as out-of-stock by a co-worker. He figured it wouldn’t be a problem since the food had been thrown away. However, he was fired by his manager after being told his action was considered stealing and was against company policy.
A Starbucks spokesman confirmed that Loptmann’s actions were indeed a “violation of our policy to consume marked-out products” to protect the health of employees.
Starbucks spokesman Zach Hutson said, “We are empathetic to this partner’s personal situation and normally would not discuss a former partner’s employment history, however there are several important facts to clarify in this specific case … For food safety reasons, it is a violation of our policy to consume products that have been marked-out because they are expired. We do not want our partners to consume potentially spoiled products and get sick. We take this policy seriously and in most cases would coach a partner for violating it if they otherwise were performing well. In this case, this partner had multiple documented performance issues over the past year (including failing to show up for shifts when scheduled). He was let go for violating our mark-out policy only after being disciplined for ongoing performance issues.”