Starbucks Barista Margaret Hobson: Fired For Being Too Old?

Margaret Hobson fired from Starbucks
Margaret Hobson fired from Starbucks

If you're trying to put yourself through school or launch your career as a puppeteer/rapper, Starbucks is an excellent side job. Unlike many other retail chains, Starbucks even offers benefits to part-timers, along with stock options, a 401(k) match and a free pound of coffee a week. But some older Starbucks "partners" say the chain isn't so benevolent. One Baltimore woman, Margaret Hobson, claims that she was actually fired because of her age.

Hobson, 65, had been running a coffee stand at a farmers market when she got a job at Starbucks in 2006, reports community news site Gazette.Net. She worked both jobs for a while, but was then told that it was a conflict of interest. She quit the coffee stand a year ago to commit herself to Starbucks, which paid her $30,000 a year and provided the health insurance that she couldn't afford on her own.

But then on Feb. 11 Hobson say she was fired and replaced by two workers in their 20s, the Maryland news website reports. The reason given: Allowing a co-worker to go home early, leaving her as the sole barista on duty. Hobson claims that it's completely normal for employees to man the shop solo, but her manager said that it violated company policies on safety and security.