Starbucks Corp. owes baristas in Massachusetts $14.1 million for a policy that gave shift supervisors a share of the tips, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled.
On November 9, a unanimous panel affirmed a March 2011 class certification ruling and a January 2012 final judgment and damages ruling by Judge Nathaniel Gorton of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.
Last month, the Second Circuit certified questions in two similar cases, Barenboim v. Starbucks Corp. and Winans v. Starbucks, to the New York Court of Appeals. The Second Circuit, which heard oral arguments in those cases in August, asked New York’s highest court what the term “agent” means under the state’s Labor Law.
The Massachusetts baristas sued Starbucks in May 2008, claiming that the state’s Tips Act bars shift supervisors from receiving any money from tip pools. In his class certification ruling, Gorton rejected Starbucks’ argument that he should deny class certification because some baristas who