Starbucks changes bathroom policy, promises access to all

Starbucks honcho promises all visitors will have bathroom access after Philadelphia bias fiasco

Starbucks CEO meets with two black men arrested at Philadelphia store

Starbucks is changing its companywide bathroom use policy after two men were arrested in one of the company's locations in Philadelphia last month.

"In terms of the bathroom, we're going to have to make sure that - we don't want to become a public bathroom, but we're going to make the right decision 100 percent of the time and give people the key, because we don't want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than", Schultz said. One of the men arrested was denied use of a bathroom.

Schultz, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, claimed star-bucks had a "free coverage" on bath usage, The Washington, The Seattle Times, and other media outlets documented. The manager called the police, and both men were arrested within minutes of arriving at the location. The two childhood friends and business partners were waiting for a business meeting they had scheduled there.

The company has opened its bathrooms to everyone as Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said he didn't want people to feel "less than" if they were refused access.

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Schultz said the previous policy had been "loose" - that customers should be able to use the bathroom if they buy something, but that it was up to the judgment of the store manager. "And, regardless of the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, your ethnic background, your station in life, we want to welcome you as a customer and we want to welcome you as an employee".

"Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome - the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong", Johnson continued.

The arrests in Philadelphia were a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long projected itself as a socially conscious company and has promoted its stores as a place for people to gather outside of their homes and offices.

Starbucks has since apologized and announced their plans to close all of their stores for a few hours on May 29 so their employees can undergo racial bias education. "It's the company that's responsible".

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