Pregnant woman blocked from Starbucks bathroom

PHOENIX, AZ (KTVK) -- A Valley woman, who is more than eight months pregnant, had an urgent need for a bathroom but claims a Starbucks employee would not give her the code to open the door.

Ilana Scheinker said she was denied access to the bathroom even after she said she would buy something.

"I don't understand how they could have this very black and white policy," said Scheinker.

Scheinker said she was with her husband on Tuesday near 7th Ave. and Camelback Rd. when she had to go to the bathroom.

She went in the nearby Starbucks where she said the barista refused to allow her to use the bathroom.

"He unapologetically said you have to buy something to use the bathroom and I said 'I'm very pregnant. I really have to go now.' and again he said 'no' and was completely unrelenting," explained Scheinker.

That's when Scheinker's husband stepped in.

"The man said 'you have to make a purchase' so they went back and forth for a minute and my husband said 'here's my credit card charge me for anything. Give me the code.' And the man still said 'no' and said 'you can go to the Fry's down the street if you want to go to the bathroom.'"

Scheinker said a customer in line offered to buy something so she could get the bathroom code but again the barista said "no."

"Nothing was said that was inappropriate," Scheinker said.

Eventually, Scheinker gave up and went to a nearby Subway restaurant.

When asked if Scheinker thought she was turned away for being pregnant she said, "I hope not. That would be very awful discrimination to be judged for being pregnant."

Starbucks gave this statement on the incident:

"We failed to meet this customers' expectations of us, and we have apologized and are working to make it right. This experience is unacceptable and not indicative of the welcoming and respectful service we strive to offer our customers in our stores."