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Deaf customers sue Starbucks

Seattle – Twelve deaf consumers are suing Starbucks over what they claim was harassment at the hands of employees of a lower Manhattan Starbucks store on March 7, 2013.

The suit alleges that one employee openly mocked the customers, a group of hearing-impaired individuals known as Deaf Chat Coffee who were holding a monthly meeting at the location, while other employees called the police to have them removed. Some, but not all, members of the group bought food and beverages and police did not remove them but instead reprimanded store employees.

The suit asks for unspecified damages and a court order for Starbucks employees to stop harassing deaf customers. A Starbucks spokesperson told Associated Press the company does not allow any type of discrimination against customers and is internally investigating the allegations.