Florida calls for probe of Starbucks' diversity policies

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling for a state investigation of Starbucks for its diversity, equity and inclusion practices, saying the coffee chain may be violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Moody and Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a complaint against Starbucks on Wednesday as the governor filled in for Fox News’ Sean Hannity as a guest host on Hannity’s conservative radio show.

“We’re going to make sure that in Florida this quota for hiring and programs that cause every employee to determine whether they are the problem based on the color of their skin, whether that violates Florida’s anti-discrimination laws, and so the matter will be investigated,” Moody, a Republican said on the show. 

The matter is being referred to the Florida Commission on Human Relations for an investigation, she added.

DeSantis welcomed the move, saying people should not be judged on “the color of their skin or their ethnicity or anything like that.” 

The commission, established to enforce the Florida Civil Rights Act, recently sparked controversy after Black clergy slammed the panel for halting inductions into its Civil Rights Hall of Fame during the governor’s first term.

Moody’s complaint accuses Starbucks of having policies that appear to discriminate on the basis of race, and cites mention of the company’s hiring goals of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) on the company’s website.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court in March found unconstitutional a main provision of Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act” that restricted businesses’ diversity programs and blocked ideas that might make workers feel responsible for racial injustices that occurred in the past. 

“As countless courts have held, using racial quotas in hiring is an illegal employment practice. The Florida Commission on Human Relations is the agency authorized by law to conduct investigations on these matters. Florida Statutes authorize the Attorney General to file a complaint with the Commission,” a spokesperson for Moody’s office told CBS News in an email.

Starbucks did not respond to requests for further comment.

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