Starbucks around the US are closing for anti-bias training: What you need to know

Starbucks will close about 8,000 company-owned locations on Tuesday afternoon to offer 175,000 employees a mandatory...

Posted: May 29, 2018 12:38 PM
Updated: May 29, 2018 12:38 PM

Starbucks will close about 8,000 company-owned locations on Tuesday afternoon to offer 175,000 employees a mandatory anti-bias training.

Most of the 7,000 licensed stores, including those operated by hotels, grocery stores and airports, should be open. Participating stores will close around 2 p.m. to 3 pm, local time. Here's what you need to know.

Why is Starbucks doing this? Starbucks announced the training soon after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April.

A store manager called the police because the men were sitting in the store without placing an order. They were arrested for trespassing. The men, who had previously asked for the code needed to use the store's bathroom, said they were waiting for a friend.

Related: Starbucks will close 8,000 US stores May 29 for racial-bias training

The incident sparked an outcry, and CEO Kevin Johnson swiftly apologized and promised to make sure that nothing like that would happen at a Starbucks again. The anti-bias training is one step toward making good on that promise.

What's happening on Tuesday? Plans for the afternoon session are elaborate.

Workers at each location will break into small groups to learn together. Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, Johnson and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides. Employees will talk about their own experiences, and watch a film about bias.

The company explained that each store will get a tool kit to help guide the trainings. Tuesday's session will focus on understanding both racial bias and the history of racial discrimination in public spaces in the United States.

Related: How Starbucks will train its staff to be less biased

Starbucks tapped several experts and researchers to help develop the curriculum, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos.

Ifill and McGhee, who both served as unpaid advisers, told reporters on a media call on Thursday that they think Starbucks' plan is ambitious.

What else is Starbucks doing? The company has also changed its policy to allow people to use Starbucks' restrooms and spend time in stores, even if they haven't made any purchases. There are limits, however, and employees will still have to use their discretion. Starbucks is asking customers to behave in a way that "maintains a warm and welcoming environment." If customers are disruptive, employees have been advised to step in.

The company offered specific guidelines in a document shared with workers. The list of inappropriate behaviors includes smoking, using drugs or alcohol, sleeping or improperly using the restroom. Starbucks added that if employees see customers who are unreasonably loud, watching something inappropriate on a personal device or disrupting others with their personal hygiene, they should step in.

Related: Starbucks' new all-are-welcome policy: Now what?

Starbucks advises employees to consider whether they'd be disturbed by the behavior in question if it was coming from a different customer. It also suggests that they consult colleagues to see if they agree the person is being disruptive. If so, employees are instructed to approach the customer and respectfully ask him or her to cease the offensive action while another employee watches. If a Starbucks employee thinks the situation isn't safe, he or she should call the police.

The company is reviewing other policies, as well, and Starbucks management received a version of the bias training this week, Ifill told reporters.

What's next? More trainings will follow, though it's unclear if stores will be closed again. And in the next few weeks, Ifill and McGhee will issue a report outlining a comprehensive set of issues they believe the company must address.

They said they hope Starbucks will incorporate anti-bias training into its employee onboarding process to make sure that every employee is trained. They'll also be evaluating the trainings on Tuesday to see how workers respond. The advisers plan to hold Starbucks to a rigorous standard. "We've made it clear that we won't be a rubber stamp to validate their programming," McGhee said.

The company plans to share its materials with the public after the training, and hopes that other businesses will make use of the tools in their own workplaces. It will share more information on Wednesday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Columbus
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Oxford
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 57°
Starkville
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 48°
High pressure brings sunny skies and dry conditions for Sunday with highs in the mid 70s. Rain chances build in during the week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather