Starbucks Says "Stools Are Dangerous"

A Starbucks employee who was also unfortunate enough to be a dwarf was terminated after asking for a stool to perform her job. Starbucks claimed the stool would present a danger to other employees or customers. The EEOC has filed a federal lawsuit against Starbucks under the Americans with Disabilities Act for refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee and terminating her. I try to give the benefit of the doubt to all parties–at least initially–but I'm not certain what Starbucks was thinking. This may be a good case of "what not to do" when confronted with a request for a reasonable accommodation. What should Starbucks have done? At the very least, it should have had a discussion with the employee before apparently acting so rashly. At the most, it should have provided the stool and let her complete her tasks and keep her job.

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