SOURCE: Nichols Kaster & Anderson, PLLP

March 27, 2008 15:14 ET

Nichols Kaster & Anderson Brings Tip-Pooling Lawsuit Against Starbucks Coffee Company

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - On March 27, 2008, a former employee of Starbucks Coffee Company filed a class action lawsuit in Minnesota State Court in Washington County. The lawsuit alleges that Starbucks violated Minnesota Statute § 177.24 by establishing an illegal tip pool that denied employees of the full amount of gratuities that Starbucks' patrons intended for the employees to receive. The statute states that any gratuities received by an employee are the sole property of the employee.

Plaintiff's attorney E. Michelle Drake explained, "The lawsuit alleges that Starbucks required employees to share tips with one another. Minnesota law forbids employers from telling employees how to share their tip money and says that any decisions about sharing tips are up to the employees, not the company. One of the reasons the law exists is to prevent companies like Starbucks from using one employee's tips to subsidize another employee's wages. We hope to recover the tips that rightfully belong to the employees."

This case is similar to a case that was recently litigated in California and resulted in a verdict in excess of $100 million for the California Plaintiffs. A similar lawsuit has also been filed in Massachusetts. Plaintiffs are represented by Paul J. Lukas and E. Michelle Drake from the law firm of Nichols Kaster & Anderson, PLLP. Nichols Kaster & Anderson has offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California.

Individuals may find information about joining this action at or by calling (877) 448-0492.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Paul J. Lukas
    (612) 256-3200
    E. Michelle Drake
    (612) 256-3249