On Monday, the company announced a change to its health benefits package which will now cover cosmetic surgeries for transgenders – that is men who feel like becoming women and vice versa.
“Starbucks health insurance plans include not only gender reassignment surgery (which had been covered since 2012), but now also a host of procedures for transgender partners that were previously considered cosmetic, and therefore not covered, such as breast reduction or augmentation surgery, facial feminization, hair transplants and more,” the company wrote in a news release.
Benefits Vice President Ron Crawford said it was “the right thing to do” because transgenders feel the procedures are essential.
“The approach was driven not just by the company’s desire to provide truly inclusive coverage, and by powerful conversations with transgender partners about how those benefits would allow them to truly be who they are,” Crawford said.
Additionally, the company will cover hair grafts and voice therapy, and “there is no lifetime cap for the services.”
News of the new benefits come as the company fights off allegations of racism after two black men were kicked out of one of their stores while waiting for a friend. After the incident, the company shuttered stores nationwide for employees to undergo “racial-bias education.”
Last week Starbucks also announced they are in the process of closing 150 stores in the U.S., a majority of which are located in blue states, due to poor sales.
No word yet on any additional benefits for cisgender employees.