Monday, October 29, 2007, 4:25 PM

Starbucks

"FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- A south Florida labor and employment attorney is working to convince a U.S. District Court judge here that Starbucks managers are entitled to overtime pay based on the number of hours they spend performing nonmanagerial duties."

In fact, this case has been going on for more than three years. Pendlebury v. Starbucks, filed in June 2004, has consumed some 464 docket entries (separate actions and filings) in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. For a flavor of this litigation, consider this: Plaintiffs' counsel have served a total of seven sets of interrogatories. The court granted Starbucks' request to be relieved from answering requests for admission numbered 212 to 633. Every step of this process multiplies the defense costs - perhaps even exponentially - and also ups the ante for any settlement or judgment since the law enables successful plaintiffs' attorneys to be paid by the defendant employer. Imagine how many vente caramel lattes it will take to recoup that level of cost! (Charlie Edwards)

Information from Nation's Restaurant News

Now comes word of certification of a nationwide class action suit, alleging that Starbucks managers are owed overtime premiums under the FLSA. Judge Marra of the Southern District of Florida has certified a class of about 900 managers who allege that Starbucks improperly classified them as executives under the FLSA. The court denied Starbucks' motion to decertify the class, holding that the managers are similarly situated in most relevant respects, despite some differences in managers' influence over personnel decisions. In his ruling, Judge Marra emphasized that the FLSA is a remedial statute and should be read broadly. In particular, he noted that the importance of class actions and that class members need only be similarly situated, not identical. Music to plaintiffs' ears.

Information from Workplace Prof Blog


Case link

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