Court of Appeal Stiffs Baristas

Remember that time when the Starbucks Baristas won $86,000,000 because the shift supervisors took their tips? That was awesome.

[Sorry, I like Chris Farley. Sue me. I'll SLAPP you.]

Anyway, some time ago, we wrote about that huge Starbucks verdict over this tip pooling issue here. Then came the flood of tip pooling cases this winter and spring, discussed here and here. The Supreme Court is working on at least one of the cases here.

And now, the court of appeal just made real the Starbucks plaintiffs' worst nightmare: they reversed the monster $86,000,000.00-ish judgment quicker than as you can say tall no-whip-mocha with foam. As if I would ever say that.

The court held that the tips were placed in a community box for all service-related employees to share. Therefore, the court reasoned, the tip pooling statute did not even apply and the company was free to share tips with the service leads. The managers and assistant managers did not share in the tips.

So, easy come, easy go. We will see if the Supreme Court agrees to take up this case as well.

The case is Chau v. Starbucks and the opinion is here.