Starbucks accused of violating Disabilities Act by charging extra for non-dairy

Mar 16, 2024, 3:58 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm

Starbucks sign. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)...

Starbucks sign. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

In a lawsuit filed in Federal Court, Starbucks has been accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by charging extra for non-dairy products, such as plant-based or lactose-free milk.

The class-action suit filed on Tuesday was brought up for all Starbucks consumers in California who bought beverages that contained non-dairy alternatives and paid a surcharge.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say they are lactose intolerant, and it is medically necessary for them to avoid milk.

Related news: Mother of disabled girl who was allegedly raped in Starbucks bathroom sues company, school district

The plaintiffs say in the lawsuit that lactose intolerance is a disability listed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the surcharges violate that act.

The plaintiffs said they would order drinks that included milk and would substitute the milk for non-dairy alternatives, such as soy, oat, coconut, or almond milk, and were charged an extra $0.50 to $0.80 for the substitution.

The lawsuit notes that Starbucks typically uses 2% milk for their milk-based products and would substitute that milk for another type of milk, such as 1% or skim, for no additional cost.

More Starbucks news: Students pushing for schools to bar Starbucks from campuses

Starbucks will also offer caffeine-less or sugar-free options for no additional cost.

The class-action suit follows a similar lawsuit filed against Dunkin’ Donuts in January.

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Starbucks accused of violating Disabilities Act by charging extra for non-dairy