Finance News & Insights

Religion in the workplace: The Satanic latte

As CFOs are well aware, employees have the right to be open about their religious affiliations – however unorthodox those affiliations are. But forcing those beliefs on customers or, more accurately, in customers’ drinks is going way too far.

Here’s what happened: A Starbucks customer and practicing Catholic, Megan K. Pinion, recently posted pictures of the coffee drinks she received, and the story quickly went viral.

Reason: The drinks Pinion received included a carmel topping clearly representing a pentagram and the numbers “666,” both of which are associated with Satanism.

‘Follow an ethics code …’

Along with pictures of the drinks, Pinion posted this message on her Facebook page:

“This is how my coffee was served to me. … I am a teacher in the public school system and if I were to present a child of atheist or pagan believer with a Christian art project I could be sued in a heartbeat. I am of Catholic faith and would love to share in my beliefs daily. Fortunately I have enough common sense to present myself with professionalism and follow an ethic code. Perhaps that could be suggested to that particular location [the Louisiana Starbucks where Pinion purchased her coffee].”

Starbucks issued an apology but the coffee juggernaut hasn’t said whether the employee will be disciplined. Considering the current pro-employee landscape, perhaps Starbucks fears a religious discrimination lawsuit.

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