(KGTV/CNN/Meredith) - A California woman said she deserves half of the $100,000 raised for a Starbucks barista who refused to serve her because she would not wear a face mask.

Amber Lynn Gilles posted a picture of the barista to Facebook last month to complain about her experience at the San Diego location.

"Meet Lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask," the post read. "Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."

The complaint sparked a viral GoFundMe campaign that raised $105,445 in virtual "tips" for the barista, whose actual name is Lenin Gutierrez. The 24-year-old said he plans to use that money to further his education and follow his dreams of dancing.

In a recent interview with KGTV, Gilles said she wants half of the money donated to Gutierrez.

“It was discrimination, and everybody is okay with it and enabling and rewarding that behavior,” she said.

Lenin Gutierrez

Lenin Gutierrez has received thousands of dollars in tips.

Gilles said she was experiencing symptoms that prevented her from wearing a mask.

“I get shortness of breath, dizziness and it messes with the heartbeat. And I do have asthma as well, and I do get mask-acne,” she said. “So there are several things going on. Not only that, but it doesn’t even work.”

She provided the news outlet with two documents that she said proves her medical exemption from the face-covering mandate.

One document included the results from a 2015 pelvic exam, which listed “probable exophytic fibroid arising from the anterior wall of the uterus measuring 2.9 cm size” and “a simple 2.5 cm left ovarian cyst.”

The other paper was a handwritten note with a letterhead from a San Diego chiropractor who she asked not to be named.

It reads: “Amber has underlying breath conditions that prevent her from wearing a mask or any type of facial covering whatsoever. Please contact me if have any questions.”

Gutierrez told CNN that before he could even show her the company guidelines requiring customers to wear a mask, Gilles flipped him off and "started cursing up a storm." 

When asked if she wanted to issue an apology to the public or Gutierrez, Gilles said, “No absolutely not.”

“I feel like I need the apology," she added. "I’ve been discriminated against. I’m the one who’s sick.”

She said she has reached out to lawyers about pursuing a case. However, she said the legal fees would be too expensive, so she launched a donation page.

Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(10) comments


I do not think that she deserves any part of the funds raised for this barista. He was doing his job and looking out for his customers. Why in the world would she EVEN ASK for any of the money for herself, when she did not do what she was asked to do and that was to WEAR HER MASK????!

IF she medically could not wear a mask, she could have sent someone else to go to that Starbucks location and to get what she wanted for her. Masks are for protection and they should be used in all public buildings and also if anyone is not capable or cannot wear a mask in public buildings, they should have a signed or notarized letter to show cashiers, why they cannot medically wear a mask,. She does not deserve to take any of this money that was raised for herself.

Roberto Estrello Demar

If I had a daughter, granddaughter, ex-wife or niece who behaved like this they would be legally, permanently and explicitly removed from my Will.

Roberto Estrello Demar

Sad, Mellodiddle may be hard for the world to live with, but just think ... SHE has to live inside that skull with herself, 24/7/365 for the Rest Of Her Life! And by the age of her, that's likely to be a very long sentence. For everybody. God help us ... would SOMEbody PLEASE explain some basic matters to this female pest of all humankind? Preferably in a language that will be unmistakable to her?

Kinda makes us wonder what her parents, siblings and teachers had to put up with. And if, God Forbid, she ever has children, what kind of fantasies they will be taught!


Frederick I am quite sure that the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, the WHO, John's Hopkins University, Stanford and the list of researchers and nationally recognized experts goes on, are not lying about masks effectiveness at slowing and preventing Covid's spread. A cloth mask may not stop you from getting it but it absolutely will stop an infected person's aerosolized saliva from circulating a room in seconds and possibly infecting every single person in it. Proper fitting close knit polyester, layered filtered cotton & some medical grade masks give some protection to the wearer as well when worn and hand correctly. Seeing as I can't afford a month long hospital stay or two months off work plus the lifetime of health problems Covid gifts you with I'll take any protection I can get. This girl is a selfish arrogant snot. Concessions are made for people with actual disabilities not fake notes from chiropractors. All that aside, Starbucks has an app, all she had to do was order and pay on it and make a phone call requesting it be brought out to her sighting her supposed "disability". Nowhere and in fact ADA specifically states no concessions can be made for a person with a disability that poses a direct threat or safety issue to anyone else. In other words no mask keep out.


Hey Melody, best go hide at home the big bad virus is going to get you. Masks are deadly. Why do you think in April, the Surgeon General of the U.S. stated that masks were worthless, it's like trying to catch a mosquito with a piece of chicken wire. Best also correct your ADA statement that no concessions be made for a person with a disability that poses a direct threat or safety issue. This exemption to the ADA must not be based on generalizations or stereotypes, which you are doing. Nice try though!


The sad thing is that there will be people, like Fred who posted his opinion here, that will support and donate to this Karen’s (Amber’s) GoFundMe account.


Your ovaries have nothing to do with your lungs, and a chiropractor is not a physician or medical doctor. If you have a breathing problem, you should see one of them or a pulmonologist.


Right? That's what got me! Is the chiropractor trying to lose their license by diagnosing asthma? Or is this chick forging her chiropractors name?


Wow. What a piece of absolute trash.

Frederick Fukov

Ahhhh..enter the mask not-zees, rewarding behavior that has been proven scientifically ridiculous. Medical Field experts state that cloth masks are 97% ineffective, while more extensive medical masks are almost 50% ineffective. Look at the data from countries outside of the US..mainly in Europe, who did not require masks, and did not order "shelter at home." Their positive test results and deaths from covid-19 are much lower than the US..AND they're not closing schools. Masks are a lie. They are being sold on fear from the radical left, because that is what the radical left does. This is how they attempt to control people..with fear. It's sick and disgusting, which pretty much describes anti-American radical liberals in general.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.