Matamoros v. Starbucks Corp., No. 12-1277 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant, Starbucks Corporation, accumulated tips from containers along individual stores' cash registers and distributed them weekly to baristas and shift supervisors within a store in proportion to the number of hours worked that week by each individual. Plaintiffs, former Starbucks baristas, filed a putative class action state court against Starbucks, asserting that Starbucks' policy violated Massachusetts' Tips Act because it allowed shift supervisors to share in the pooled gratuities. Starbucks removed the case to federal court, alleging class-action diversity jurisdiction. The district court, applying Massachusetts law, concluded that the Defendant's policy regarding pooled gratuities violated the Tips Act, certified a class, and awarded damages in an amount exceeding $14,000,000. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the plain language of the Tips Act prohibited Defendant's tip-pooling policy.