'Second Degree Burns All Over My Toes': Starbucks Barista Alleges She Was 'Forced' to Continue Working After Being Injured on the Clock

One TikToker claims she was seriously injured while cleaning during her shift last week.

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By Emily Rella

Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Talk about getting burned by your employer.

One Starbucks employee is taking it up with the coffee chain after a video she made claiming that she was forced to continue working after she suffered second degree burns while on the clock.

Julia, who did not disclose her last name, explained in the viral video that she was working as a shift supervisor during closing last Thursday night when she went to stop a coffee urn from being cleaned a second time after she realized that the particular urn had already been through the process.

"All of my fellow partners were sitting down waiting for me as a shift supervisor. I went to grab the urn and it was open, and I spilled hot water all over myself," the Starbucks employee said. "It burned my foot. I was wearing protective shoes, but I still hurt my foot and [I got] second degree burns all over my toes and the whole side of my left foot."

Related: Viral Video Exposes Difference In Starbucks Workers' Salaries

Julia then claimed she had to resume working "right away" and that when she asked to take the day off, she was asked to use her sick time without any compensation.

She says she even filed an interim report with the company and contacted her manager directly via phone call and text message but still has not heard back from either.

@sbworkersunited This is why we organize. Fellow partners at Julia's store are collecting donations here: https://gofund.me/61764b13 #starbucksbarista #starbucksunion #2nddegreeburns #whyweorganize ♬ original sound - SBWorkersUnited

"I'm still at work and I still have worked and my foot has worsened from being at work," she lamented. "And I just need some help because I have no sick time available ... and they're forcing me basically to work with the condition I'm in and I can't even put shoes on."

The video has been viewed over 67,000 times, the comment section flooded with alleged former and current employees claiming that similar situations had happened to them, ranging from claims of being burned from a chocolate croissant to being forced to come to work after a coworker had been "shot in the head."

"Got 2nd degree with a grilled cheese and never got anything for it and had to work still," one TikToker wrote.

"One of our partners got shot in the head (luckily not at the store thank god but i was the one who got the call)and we were forced to keep working," another grimly claimed.

Related: Starbucks Workers in Buffalo Vote to Create First-Ever Union

The video was posted on behalf of Julia by Starbucks Workers United, an organization supporting Starbucks Workers in their efforts to fully unionize.

"This is why we unionize," the caption of the TikTok reads before linking to a GoFundMe page that was made in Julia's name by her coworkers, which notes that the specific Starbucks location that the TikToker works at has filed to vote for unionization.

"Our store recently filed for a union vote, with Julia as one of our vital organizing committee members," the page reads. "Starbucks has engaged in a very public campaign to try to force union leaders to quit and we believe this treatment of Julia is part of this pattern."

According to the GoFundMe page, the Starbucks location in question is the East Robinson Starbucks in Buffalo, NY, with the funds that the group hopes to raise being used towards medical expenses for Julia and compensation for time off.

Starbucks was under fire just last week after being sued by The National Labor Relations Board for allegedly taking "direct and unjust" action against three employees involved in attempted unionization.

Over 50 Unfair Labor Practice charges have been filed against Starbucks in the Buffalo, NY region since August 2021.

Starbucks was down over 36% year over year as of Monday afternoon.

Related: Starbucks Is Getting Rid of Its Iconic Cups

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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