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Starbucks Owes Mass. Baristas More Than $14 Million

A US Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court ruling saying that a company policy violated state laws.

A recent court ruling in Massachusetts has determined that a national coffee chain should pay out millions of dollars to its employees and change its tipping policy to comply with state laws.

Starbucks owes baristas across Massachusetts more than $14 million for “violating state laws preventing supervisors from sharing in tips pools,” the Boston Globe recently reported.

A US Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court ruling on the issue in which “Starbucks baristas challenged the Seattle coffee chain’s practice of requiring them to share tips with shift supervisors, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in 2008,” the Globe reported.

In addition to a corporate office, Starbucks operates six coffee shops in Newton, including locations in Newton Corner, Newtonville, Newton Upper Falls, Newton Centre, Waban and Newton Lower Falls. Information was not immediately available as to how many Newton Starbucks employees would be affected.

The ruling reportedly affects about 11,000 baristas who worked in Starbucks between 2005 and 2011. 

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