Thursday, March 27, 2008, 3:00 PM

100,000 Baristas to Benefit Big

From CBS News: In a class action brought on behalf of 100,000 baristas (Starbuck's endearing term for its employees), a California Superior Court Judge ordered Starbucks to pay the California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest. According to the complaint filed in the action, Starbucks violated California wage and hour laws in its tip pooling arrangement by permitting shift supervisors to share in tips received from customers. Starbucks argued that its shift supervisors were entitled to share in the tips because they were pouring coffee, waiting on customers, and performing tasks similar to the baristas. However, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett disagreed finding that state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities. She issued a letter to counsel after five days of damages testimony ordering the coffee giant to pay more than $100 million in back tips and interest. Starbucks plans to appeal the ruling.

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