Two baristas at a Duke University campus coffee shop had their contracts terminated on Monday (May 8) after university officials demanded the coffee chain fire them.
According to North Carolina’s Indy Week, Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta entered Joe Van Gogh on Friday for a beverage and was offended by the rap music playing over the cafe’s speakers–“Get Paid” by Young Dolph. The song includes the n-word throughout, which led to Moneta “verbally harassing” employee Britni Brown, according to the other barista on duty Kevin Simmons.
On Monday morning, Brown and Simmons were called into the Joe Van Gogh’s office and asked to resign, and the human resources coordinator explained that Duke administrative officials requested the shop fire the employees working that day.
In an email statement to the Duke Chronicle, Moreta said he “was shocked to hear lyrics that he ‘found quite inappropriate for a working environment that serves children among others.’ … ‘I expressed my objections to the staff with whom I’ve always had a cordial relationship. I insisted on paying for my purchase and left the store. I then contacted the director of Duke Dining to express my concerns and that was the end of my involvement.’”