Starbucks is adding designated boxes for the disposal of drug injection needles after receiving a fine for unsanitary conditions that were endangering its workers.
The company had received a fine from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the frequency of used injection needles that were being found in the store’s bathrooms. In response, the coffee chain will install disposal boxes in store bathrooms in more than 25 cities.
The hypodermic needles being found in Starbucks’ bathrooms are commonly used for drug users to inject heroin and other opioids. They can pose an infection risk for the workers tasked with disposing of them, and can transmit deadly diseases such as HIV.
The national chain may have incurred a problem of drug use after changing its rules to allow individuals who aren’t customers to spend time at the stores. Starbucks became a target of racism accusations when staff at a Philadelphia location called police on two black men who were later allegedly brutalized by officers.
It’s wrong for Starbucks to subject its workers to the hazardous presence of used drug needles in store bathrooms. It was also predictable that the store policy opening doors to anyone and everyone would mean that such a hazard would be enabled. Well-paid Starbucks executives will sit in distant air-conditioned offices, imagining themselves immune to the “racism” accusations that were leveled against the company, smugly satisfied even it means placing the $30 billion company’s low paid baristas and staff at risk of infection and physical harm.
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