Starbucks ordered to pay out $100m in withheld tips
Saturday 22 March 2008
A court in California has awarded what may be the biggest tip in history.
Almost four years after a barista for the Starbucks coffee chain accused her employers of depriving her and other baristas of the tips they were meant to be receiving from customers, the court has ruled that the company must pay out more than $100m (£50m) in restitution.
In a brief ruling, just four paragraphs long, the court in San Diego concurred that the company incorrectly allowed shift managers and supervisors in its California outlets to dip into gratuities left by patrons when the money should have been distributed only to baristas making and dispensing food and drinks.
The judge told the company that it should pay back $87m in back tips plus interest of $19m.
The case only concerned operations in California, which is nonetheless the company's largest market in the United States, where it has 2,500 outlets.
The case began as little more than an annoyance for Starbucks when Jou Chou filed her complaint about shift supervisors pocketing part of tips owed to her. It became a much greater threat in 2006 when a judge granted it class action status, allowing as many as 100,000 former and current baristas to be represented.
Starbucks, which is attempting to counter a tumbling stock price and a slow-down in customer traffic, appealed against the ruling, calling it "fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason".
Far happier was Ms Chou. In a statement released by her lawyers, she said: "I feel vindicated. Tips really help those receiving the lowest wages. I think Starbucks should pay shift supervisors higher wages instead of taking money from the tip pool."
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...