CRESSKILL, N.J., Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's most famous coffee company, Starbucks, owes $14.1 million to former baristas in Massachusetts who sued the company over their supervisors getting a share of their tips. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed a Massachusetts District Court's summary judgment where the baristas were first awarded the money. The Court stated the Starbucks policy of pooling and distributing tips among baristas and supervisors violated the Massachusetts Tips Act. To help plaintiff's attorneys quickly monetize slow-paying Starbucks settlements, RD Legal Funding, LLC ("RD Legal") is providing post-settlement financing.
In May 2008, Massachusetts baristas sued Starbucks alleging the company's policy, which allowed shift supervisors and baristas to share in the tip pool, violated the Massachusetts Tips Act. According to news reports, Starbucks fought the plaintiffs the entire way, from their gaining class certification with arguments like some of the baristas were promoted during the time in question, to questioning the entire motives of the lawsuit. Starbucks even suggested the shift supervisors were not really managers because they had limited supervisory and managerial responsibility.
In March 2011, Judge Nathaniel Gorton of the District Court of Massachusetts awarded the baristas $14.1 million which Starbucks appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In November 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the decision. Plaintiff's lawyers from the Starbucks case say more lawsuits are coming pertaining to the same issue. They also express confidence that state legislatures, with guidance from the courts, will decide how tips should be shared. Starbucks told news outlets that it will review and evaluate their tipping policy so it's in compliance with state law.RD Legal can provide post-settlement funding to plaintiff's attorneys with Starbucks settlements, which provides immediate capital on legal fees associated with slow-paying settled cases. Lawsuit funding does not require any kind of payments until the fee is paid; there are no monthly interest or principal payments, no upfront points or fees. Once the necessary documentation is received, RD Legal can wire funds within several days. RD Legal provides personalized service and quick turnaround. For more information, call RD Legal toll-free at 1-800-565-5177 or visit http://www.legalfunding.com. SOURCES: