Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times reports today that a copycat lawsuit has been filed in New York federal court against Starbucks seeking damages arising out of the company policy of sharing store tips with shift supervisors. The class action, filed by a former barista, comes hot on the heels of a $105 million California class action judgment against Starbucks. (Our summary of that judgment may be found here.) Mr. Greenhouse quotes plaintiffs’ counsel as admitting that the New York class action “mak[es] literally the same pitch as was made in the California case.” Starbucks has vowed to appeal the California judgment. Starbucks insists that shift supervisors are essentially baristas and therefore may share in customer tips. The New York Times quotes a company statement that “Shift supervisors are not managers and have no managerial authority.”
Mr. Greenhouse’s article, entitled “Starbucks Sued in New York Over Tip Issue,” may be found in Section B of the April 4, 2008 edition of The New York Times.