The Sad Reason A Starbucks Employee Quit Over Her Dog

The benefits of Starbucks employees have been a hot topic lately, as union negotiations have been ongoing. Starbucks was reportedly considering offering better benefits, including increased wages, faster sick time accrual, and other ways of tipping baristas, though these benefits are not offered at unionized stores due to mandated separate contract negotiations.

Starbucks employees accrue vacation time after working at the company for a year, according to the Starbucks website. They are also allowed two bereavement days for "eligible family members," though the site does not specify whether or not pets qualify under this policy. Employees that have worked for Starbucks between 12 and 36 months can accrue a maximum of 40 hours of vacation time (64 in California).

Former Starbucks employee Auralee Smith asked her manager for assistance finding coverage for a Sunday shift, after learning that her dog would need to be put down the night before (via Insider). After her manager's response to the request, Smith decided to leave her job.

She struggled finding someone to cover her shift

Auralee Smith's dog, Gandy, had been with the family for around 13 years after they rescued her, reports Insider. After finding out that Gandy had cancer, the family's vet suggested that operating might not be the best option, due to her old age. Instead, the family made the difficult decision to put Gandy down.

Smith texted her manager to notify them of the situation, and let them know that she was attempting to find another employee to cover her shift. In a screenshot posted to Smith's Twitter, the manager let Smith know that her absence would not be approved if she did not come to work. They also asked Smith to reschedule the vet appointment to a night when Smith did not have to work the next day.

Smith worked at Starbucks from November 2019 to April 2022, according to her LinkedIn. She put in her two weeks notice during this conversation with her manager, saying "I can't reschedule when I put my dog down for Starbucks," and that she was "ready to move on."