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Stolen tips are not our invention: ask Starbucks

Starbuck has been ordered to refund $100 million (yes, you read that right) in tips to its employees. Will it have helped them learn their lesson?

A $100 million tip. That’s what about 100,000 employees and former employees of the Starbucks coffee empire in California will have to share among themselves. This is what Judge Patricia Cowett of the Superior Court of San Diego has established, condemning Starbucks to pay the sum of 86 million in back tips, which employees were forced to share with the directors of the stores, plus 14 million in interest.

The magistrate has sanctioned the illegality of that part of the internal regulation that obliges Starbucks baristas to divide the tips received with supervisors and managers, a sort of ‘lace’ on tips, according to the plaintiffs. The lawsuit was started by barista Jou Chou in October 2004 but turned into a ‘class-action’ after another 100,000 employees joined the dispute in 2006 against the company that has over 11,000 points of sale worldwide.

Valerie O’Neil, Starbucks spokeswoman criticized the judge’s decision defining it “unfair and illogical” and announced that they will appeal.

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