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Starbucks To Give California Baristas $106 Million Back

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Photo by re-ality via Flickr

In a class-action lawsuit brought forward by a San Diego area Starbucks employee, the chain coffee retailer was told yesterday they broke the law and owe California baristas millions in back tips, plus interest. "Starbucks illegally took a huge amount of money from the tip pool to pay shift supervisors, rather than paying them out of its own pocket. The court's verdict rightfully restores that money to the baristas," Attorney Laura Ho said of the case.

State law prohibits managers and shift supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities and the judge yesterday also put forth an injunction stopping that practice. Despite the law, a Starbucks spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the ruling was "fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason."

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Starbucks owes $87 million in back tips, plus $19 million in interest at the total of $106 million. At the moment, it is not clear how many baristas will be affected by this judgement. Of the 11,000 stores it has nationwide, about 2,460 of them are in California, making California the company's largest U.S. market.