A transgender manager says Starbucks wrongly fired her after someone else wrote "pig" on a cop's order.
"I really feel like I was made out to be a martyr," Lola Rose told the New York Post. "This is a lot of slander on my part, a lot of brushing me under the rug."
Starbucks fired Rose after an Oklahoma police officer found the word "pig" printed on beverage cups, as reported by NBC News. The story made national headlines after Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O'Mara posted an image on Facebook, which prompted a response by Starbucks. "This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe," Starbucks said in a statement.
But Rose said she saw a food item labeled with the word "pig" by another employee, and proactively spoke to the officer at the time.
"I saw the label on a food item because I was like, 'No, that's not right,'" Rose said. "I jumped into action, apologized, then I thanked him for his time and for his service."
She believed another employee intended the labels as a prank not on the officer but other baristas, to make them call out the word "pig" in a store with a police officer present.
While Rose found the sticker on a muffin, she did not notice the warm beverage cups also had the stickers on them. Those left the store, and were what ultimately ended up on Facebook.
The frustrating part of the ordeal to Rose is that she sought out the job at Starbucks because of specialized health benefits offered to trans employees, as well as college tuition assistance. She now has been left with the bill for hormone therapy treatment.
"They were supposed to be there for me as much as I am there for them but it's gone because a small-town officer was offended by something [and couldn't think like an adult] and posted to Facebook."
Starbucks claimed to the Post that Rose admitted involvement in the labeling of the order.