A San Diego California court ruled that Starbucks must pay back $105 million in tips shared by shift supervisors. In a March 20, 2008 statement released on the Starbucks website, company officials say they plan to vigorously appeal the court’s decision. A single former California Starbucks barista filed the lawsuit claiming that shift supervisors should not share in the tip pool form tips placed in jars at the California Starbucks locations.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett agreed and ruled to take away Starbuck’s right to provide shift supervisors a share of the tips. Judge Cowett ordered that shift supervisors be prohibited from receiving tips and that Starbucks must pay $105 million worth of supervisor tips back to the baristas in California. Starbucks executives say this is a good example of how the California court system can extremely abuse the class action legal procedures. The court denied Starbucks the opportunity to have shift supervisors represented in the litigation.
Starbucks officials underwent a lengthy trial in which the Judge issued a decision only four paragraphs in length that opposed Starbuck’s belief that shift supervisors deserve to share in the tip pool. Starbucks believes the ruling is not only gong against the law, but is not based on fairness or on common sense and reason. Starbucks will ask for a stay of the Court’s ruling to prohibit shift supervisors in sharing of the tips until the appeal can be heard.
This is a blow to Starbucks as it recently unveiled its plan to innovate the Starbucks customer experience. On March 19, Starbucks announced in a press release on their web site that it would begin a new customer rewards program, purchase new state-of -the-art espresso and brewing equipment, return to the old days of Starbucks when the barista experience was personal, and launch MyStarbucksIdea.com so customers can help shape the future of Starbucks.
Starbucks vows to reconnect with their loyal customer base through innovation, communication, and affordable products. Beginning in April, every Starbucks store will begin brewing its newest flavor, Pike Place Roast. Pike Place Roast is smooth and bold with flavors of cocoa and nuts. All brewed coffee will be held for no more than 30 minutes in each store. If you hold a Starbucks Rewards Card, you can have complimentary customizations of syrups and special milks like soy or half/half. You will also get 2 hours each day of free in-store Wi-Fi in company-operated U.S. stores.
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