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monticello/Shutterstock @meowmixalicia/TikTok (Licensed)

‘They fired me for being in the hospital’: Starbucks worker says the company fired her 3 separate times over medical issues

'Basically I just got sick and I kept getting sick.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Feb 6, 2023

When being let go from a job, many times an employee will move on and find a different employer. Some will come back after remediating the issue that led to their firing. One former Starbucks employee says she was fired in three separate instances from the coffee chain and is sharing her experience on TikTok.

In a series of videos, user Alicia (@meowmixalicia) said she was first fired from her job at Starbucks over absences due to frequent illness.

“I have quite a few medical issues, so basically I just got sick and I kept getting sick,” she says in the video.

@meowmixalicia not real names &lt3 #starbucks #fired #makingmoney #gettingrich #curlyhair #storytime #cartalk #talktok ♬ original sound – alicia

After calling her district manager about the situation, Alicia says she was able to get hired at a different store, and the situation was much better for her. However, the store manager at this new location also did not like her, she says, despite her best attempts to have all of her shifts covered when she was sick.

At one point, Alicia claims a cut on her hand became infected, and after a fever-prompted visit to the hospital, she learned she had initial stages of potential sepsis. She also had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic given to her by the hospital to combat the infection, she says.

@meowmixalicia Replying to @jenny.torres24 the third store was where it got juicy 😭 #starbucks #fired #storytime #igotfired #starbies #curlyhair #cartalk #storytime #gettingrich ♬ original sound – alicia

When she returned to work this time, she was fired for inconsistent attendance, she says.

“I know it sounds insane that I can get fired for literally being in the hospital with hospital notes, all the whole ordeal, but technically since they put it under inconsistent attendance, she was allowed to do it,” she says.

Ultimately, she says she was glad to be fired from this store, as it was an untenable working environment for her.

Alicia has not yet shared the story of the third time she was fired from Starbucks, but the Daily Dot has reached out to the TikToker via Instagram direct message regarding the videos. We’ve also reached out to Starbucks via email.

Viewers empathized with Alicia, with several suggesting that the reason she was able to go back to her job at all was because the company knew it was in the wrong. Some federal labor laws may prevent an employer from firing a sick employee, but it is unclear whether Alicia works in an at-will state.

“The reason you keep getting your job back is because they know they’re in the wrong for firing you,” one commenter wrote. “No matter how they label it if you have the notes and the timestamps for the times they claim you missed out on they can get in big trouble because of the FMLA act and because of the ADA.”

“Bestie you need to read your partner handbook and be aware of what they can and cannot do if you call out sick, you do not have to find coverage,” another stated. “And if they fire you for being sick, you could take it up with OSHA and they can get in serious trouble for that. Plus you would’ve been compensated.”

“This whole thing is insane i can’t believe they got away with firing you for medical reasons twice,” a third user added.

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2023, 12:44 pm CST