SPOKANE, Wash. — A Starbucks customer asked a worker for a date, but he got banned from the store instead.
A Spokane, Washington, man claimed age discrimination after management at a local Starbucks location banned him from the premises. The man, Lucas Werner, wrote
after the incident.
According to his post, Werner responded to what he thought was flirtatious behavior.
"A barista said I was funny and that she liked me, so I politely thanked her, sat down to drink my hot chocolate, wrote her a nice note, so as not to interrupt her work schedule, asking her out to dinner if she was interested and walked out, happily thanking the friendly staff and wishing them a merry Christmas," he wrote.
He said that when he returned to the store another day, he was greeted by a police officer.
"When I returned yesterday, a Spokane police officer said the note was creepy -- which it wasn't -- and asked me to not return because I was being banned. We already know this is because the barista was young and legal aged, and I'm 37," he wrote.
Werner guessed that the worker was a teenager.
"I did not ask her to have (sexual relations) with me. I asked if she would like to have dinner sometime," he wrote. "Perfectly normal adult behavior. I figure, if she was 16 and flirtatious, it would still be legal to ask her to dinner. You can't even work at Starbucks unless you're 16, which is the legal age to date people. This is a clear case of age discrimination."
Werner asked his Facebook friends to call the coffee chain location and complain on his behalf.
"I know the female Starbucks barista was of legal age to date. I broke no laws. I merely took a chance with my heart," he wrote. "I'm tired of hearing the word 'creep' as any black person or gay person is tired of hearing certain words. I have a whole web page dedicated to age gap love."
. Starbucks would not confirm the barista's age.
Werner has not been charged with a crime because he did not break any laws. Were he to return to the Starbucks location, he could face trespassing charges. Starbucks has the right to refuse service to customers who they believe harass their staff, banning them from a location if necessary.
A spokesperson for Starbucks expressed support for the decision by the location's management.
"We have no tolerance for any such inappropriate behavior or harassment, and we will continue to support our store partners and local authorities investigating the situation," the representative told
Many people praised Starbucks' decision online.
"I have never been so proud to be a Starbucks customer,"
. "As a teen, I had to deal with similar issues working in a restaurant as a hostess. It is an uncomfortable position no girl wants to be put in. Thank you so much for supporting your employees."
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Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.
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