The California woman who refused to wear a face mask in Starbucks is considering suing to get half of the barista's $100,000 in GoFundMe tips

acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)


  • Last month, a San Diego woman named Amber Gilles publicly shamed a Starbucks barista for refusing to serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask.

  • A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $100,000 in tips for the barista, Lenin Gutierrez.

  • Now Gilles says she wants half of the money, telling KGTV she was the one who was "discriminated against."

  • She also said she was medically exempt from wearing a mask, giving the TV station results from a 2015 pelvic exam and a chiropractor's note saying she had "underlying breath conditions."

  • Wearing a mask is mandatory inside businesses in San Diego County, but there are some exceptions for medical reasons.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amber Gilles posted a photo of Lenin Gutierrez and complained that he wouldn't serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask.
Amber Gilles posted a photo of Lenin Gutierrez and complained that he wouldn't serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask.

Screenshot/Facebook

Video: How to make and wear effective face masks

A San Diego woman who tried to shame a Starbucks barista for enforcing the government's mandatory face-mask rule says she wants half of the $105,000 in tips that supporters raised for the employee on GoFundMe.

On June 22, Amber Gilles posted a picture of Lenin Gutierrez on her Facebook page, writing: "Meet Lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."

The post, which has since been taken down, was shared widely, and many people criticized Gilles.

A GoFundMe started by Matt Cowan, of Orange County, California, to raise tips for Gutierrez had raised $105,450 before Cowan ended the campaign more than a week ago.

Gilles says she wants half of the money that was raised for Gutierrez.
Gilles says she wants half of the money that was raised for Gutierrez.

KGTV

Gilles this week told KGTV, a local ABC affiliate, that she'd been speaking with lawyers about pursuing a lawsuit to get half of the money raised for Gutierrez.

"I've been discriminated against," she said. "I'm the one who's sick."

She said that because the lawyers were expensive, she started her own GoFundMe to raise money to pay for them. Insider could not find a GoFundMe account associated with Gilles on Thursday.

Face masks are required inside businesses in San Diego County, but there are some exceptions for medical reasons.

KGTV said Gilles provided two documents she said proved that she didn't need to wear a face mask: the results of a 2015 pelvic exam saying she had an ovarian cyst, and a handwritten note from a chiropractor saying Gilles "has underlying breath conditions that prevent her from wearing a mask or any type of facial covering whatsoever."

When asked why a chiropractor gave her a medical note for a breathing issue, Gilles told KGTV it was "because they are dedicated to providing non-invasive personalized care and treatment," adding, "They are real doctors."

KGTV said the chiropractor, who it did not identify, declined to speak about Gilles with the station.

Gutierrez has already received the money from his GoFundMe campaign.

In a video posted on the fundraiser's page, he said he planned to use the cash to study kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton and pursue his dream of becoming a dancer. He said he also wanted to donate some of the money to charity.

Read the original article on Insider

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