What to expect when you’re expecting paid parental leave at a Starbucks shareholder meeting

Questions, controversy, and balloons could loom over Starbucks annual meeting

Starbucks shareholders will gather Wednesday morning for the company's annual shareholder meeting in part to mark the transition from outgoing CEO Howard Schultz to incoming CEO Kevin Johnson. Johnson begins in the new role on April 3rd.

  Photo credit: Alex Garland

Photo credit: Alex Garland

Here’s 6 things to expect:

1) Controversy continues to build around Starbucks new parental leave policy, which would provide store employees dramatically less time with a new child than corporate employees would get.

2) Baristas & customers will be at the shareholder meeting to call on Starbucks to update their parental leave policy to apply equitably to all types of workers, all types of parents, and all types of families. They’ll carry green balloons reading “Congratulations, it’s unpaid!” as they reach out to shareholders about the importance of paid family leave.

3) Questions may be asked: Several baristas attending the meeting are also hoping to make use of the question & answer period to ask the gathered Starbucks executives to explain why they think the new children of baristas should get less time with their parents than new children of executives should get.

4) VP of Global Benefits: The shareholder meeting comes a day after two baristas delivered 80,000 petition signatures to corporate headquarters and then met with the VP of Global Benefits about the company’s paid parental leave policy. (Hi-res photos available.)

5) Meanwhile at City Hall: At the same time as the shareholder meeting gets underway at McCaw Hall, Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez will be releasing the outline of a potential proposal for how Seattle can best move forward on a citywide paid family leave policy for private sector employees if the State Legislature fails to act. Starbucks already does business in 70 countries and several states which have paid family leave laws.

6) Hear our voices: Several baristas have shared powerful stories about the importance of paid family leave on our website.