MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal agency has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks concerning the former Memphis employees who were fired earlier this year.

The National Labor Relations Board has asked a federal judge for a temporary injunction for the seven workers who were fired from the Poplar Plaza location in February.

The agency says the company fired the workers in retaliation after they talked to the media about their attempt to unionize.

However, Starbucks says the terminations were because the former employees were violating policy by having unauthorized media interviews inside of the store. The coffee company says investigations showed the former employees failed to maintain a secure work environment and violated safe security standards. 

Stabucks released this statement to WREG:

We believe the allegations contained in the filing by the NLRB Regional Director are false, and we look forward to presenting our evidence when the allegations are adjudicated. A partners’ right to organize does not exempt them from adhering to our policies. We will continue to enforce those policies equally for all partners. These egregious actions and blatant violations cannot be ignored and consistent with how we apply these corrective actions equally for all partners, these partners were terminated.

Starbucks Spokesperson

Since the termination, the group known on social media as the “Memphis 7” has gained nationwide attention.