Target Starbucks Employee Finds Out He Has Zero Job Benefits at Work – So He Quits in Front of the Entire Store

Inspiring Stories

*Featured image contains photo by Lina Kivaka

Vacation time and sick pay are not just perks; they are essential benefits that contribute to employees’ overall well-being and job satisfaction.

And yet, despite how crucial they are, many employees aren’t actually entitled to them. Thanks to corporate greed and creative loopholes, companies often choose to prioritize profits over people.

When one Target Starbucks employee discovered he had ZERO vacation time or sick leave after working for the company for a year, he was shocked. And then came the justifiable outrage.

Understandably, he decided to quit. But he wasn’t about to go quietly.

Barista’s “Grande” Exit Goes TikTok Viral

In a TikTok video that has gone insanely viral with 3.8 MILLION views in just a week, Gene Austyn documented his “Grande” exit from the store he says “stole” his sick leave and vacation time.

“Watch me quit my job at Target Starbucks in front of the entire store because they stole my sick and vacation time. 1 year and 1,500 hours later,” he wrote in the caption overlay.

As the video shows, Austyn initially planned to resign over the intercom but it was unplugged. Not about to let something so trivial steal his thunder, he proceeded to just bellow it out at the top of his lungs:

“Attention Target shoppers!” he announced. “Consider this my Grande exit. I’ve been brewing up something more than thankless lattes and overpriced sugar water; my Grande (evil laugh) plan to escape this wretched heap dungeon of soulless fluorescent lights and infant crying ambiance.”

But before he walked out the doors he had one last parting “shot” for management.

“But before I go, let’s talk about your piss-poor benefits policy. I mean, it’s like ordering a large Frappuccino with a double shot of disappointment. Sick time? Vacation hours? Ha! You’d be better off asking for unicorn tears.”

Gene Austyn via TikTok

“Well, how’s this for a magical double shot? I quit,” he ended with a flourish.

Target’s “Neat Little” Loophole

The Alabaster, Alabama resident had been working at the Starbucks inside Target as a barista for a year when Human Resources informed him that despite working 1500 hours, he wasn’t entitled to leave benefits.

Apparently, Target (who hires, pays, and manages the Starbucks employees as part of a partnership deal) has a handy little loophole — employees have to work 19+ hours a week for the first three months of their employment with the company to qualify.

Something Austyn says is nearly impossible.

“Yeah, your first 90 days. Like, when you’re hired on and they barely give you hours because you’re just learning. Thanks, Target!” he said in a separate TikTok video.

Turns out, Austyn isn’t the only one who’s been burned by the company. The comment section was flooded with people who have experienced the same treatment.

“I worked for Target 12 yrs ago for a total of 5 years and when I went on maternity leave, they told me I hadn’t been with them long enough to “qualify” for maternity leave 🤔 after FIVE years? Yeah ok,” wrote one commenter.

“They gave me a 5-cent raise in 2022. I was like keep your pocket change bro, consider this my notice,” another person shared.

“I work for target rn and I felt this and I’m proud of you for doing your big one. Wishing you the best on your journey,” said a third.

The Importance of Valuing Your Employees

The thing is, Target isn’t the only company that is guilty of this.

While companies boast about their commitment to their employees’ welfare, the reality is often far different.

For many workers, especially those in low-wage positions, like retail or service, the promise of vacation time and sick pay remains elusive, despite their indispensable role in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Rather than do what is best for their employees (and ultimately best for the companies — happy, healthy employees = higher productivity and low turnover), corporations use legal loopholes to deny workers the benefits they deserve.

Hopefully, as more employees speak out against unfair benefits policies and stand up for what they deserve, it will lead to much-needed change.

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