Starbucks employees say they don't feel safe cleaning needle-infested restrooms and want changes. More than 3,700 workers signed a petition, saying they run the risk of contracting a disease if they are poked with a needle.
"Employees risk getting poked, and DO get poked, even when following "protocol" of using gloves and tongs to dispose of used needles left in bathrooms, tampon disposal boxes, and diaper changing stations. It costs almost two thousand dollars just for one round of after-exposure shots, not including other tests, shots, medications, etc." according to the petition on Coworker.org.
"Making coffee should not come with this kind of easily detoured risk," it reads.
The petition asks the popular coffee chain to provide customers with a safe way to dispose of needles used for drugs that are often left inside bathrooms.
"These societal issues affect us all and can sometimes place our partners (employees) in scary situations," Starbucks said in a statement Thursday. "Which is why we have protocols and resources in place to ensure our partners are out of harm’s way."
The coffee-chain says it's considering installing locked disposal boxes, as well as using stronger trash bags in selected markets based on foot traffic and other factors.
Starbucks opened its restrooms to the public last year after the company was criticized following the arrests of two black men after they asked to use the restroom without making a purchase.
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