Multiple Target workers fired for buying limited edition Stanley Cup

The company fired employees for using their jobs to ‘gain an unfair advantage over guests’ to buy store merchandise

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 31 January 2024 00:36 GMT
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Multiple Target employees were fired after they bought limited edition cups from the exclusive Starbucks x Stanley collaboration.

Seven Target workers from across the US revealed to Business Insider that store leadership - which included human resources and asset-protection representatives - fired them based on the grounds of a company policy that prohibits employees from using their jobs to “gain an unfair advantage over guests” to purchase store merchandise.

One of them, Catherine Carter - who had worked at a Target store near the Miami area for almost 19 years - was fired after purchasing one of the collaboration’s coveted cups. In her entire time at Target, Carter had been a model employee, she added that she had “never been written up, never called out, never been late.”

She recalled that while on a break on 3 January, she was stopped by one of the Starbucks baristas, who asked her if she wanted to buy one of the Starbucks x Stanley Cups. The pink stainless steel insulated cups were retailed at $49.95.

“My mama passed from breast cancer, so I always try to get as much pink as I can,” she told the outlet, noting that at the time, her managers were there and didn’t inform her that she was doing anything wrong.

Ordinarily, the company policy that led Carter and other employees to be fired, concerned high-demand or limited-stock items and deals that always sold out like PlayStation consoles. However, the outlet confirmed that none of the seven former employees could recall the policy ever leading to termination of employment.

When they were informed of the issue, they reportedly offered to return the cups, but their offers were declined at the time. The employees said that the investigation into the purchase of the exclusive Stanley Cups didn’t come from within the store but from Target’s corporate offices.

According to their company policy, Target is an at-will employer, which means that the corporation can fire an employee at any time they see fit for whichever reason.

The workers who spoke to Business Insider noted that they hadn’t even known about the company policy until their termination, and were not informed that the purchase of the exclusive Stanley Cup would result in a violation.

“I just don’t think they’re doing right,” Carter criticised the company. “I mean, for a cup. Come on, a cup.”

Two workers told the outlet they had purchased a cup that was improperly set aside by a colleague, while another two said they bought cups that hadn’t been properly returned to the correct location on the sales floor after online orders were cancelled. Another person besides Carter noted that their managers had been okay with the purchases.

Each of the seven workers knew they were one of several employees at their stores who had been fired over the cups, and some of them allegedly said they knew of multiple workers at other stores getting fired over the Stanley Cups. Target employs over 400,000 people across nearly 2,000 stores in the US.

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