California Employment Law Update
On March 21, 2008, a San Diego County Superior Court ruled that Starbucks violated California law by allowing shift supervisors to share in the customer tip pool. Jou Chou, a former Starbucks barista in La Jolla who alleged shift supervisors were sharing in employee tips, filed the lawsuit in October 2004. in 2006, the case was granted class-action status. Judge Patricia Cowett ruled that the Seattle-based coffee chain must pay a statewide class of about 120,000 baristas employed by the company since 2000 $86 million plus interest. The court also ruled that Plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction preventing Starbucks from forcing employees to share their tips with shift supervisors.