Court Reverses Tip Sharing Decision in Starbucks Case

August 2009Articles Hospitality Law, Vol. 24, No. 8
The Fourth District Court of Appeals recently issued one of the most pivotal decisions to date regarding the permissibility of mandatory tip sharing, reversing the trial judge's order that awarded a class of Starbucks baristas restitution of tips in the amount of $86 million. In the article "Court Reverses Tip Sharing Decision in Starbucks Case," published by Hospitality Law, Alexander Hernaez highlights why the appellate court decision in Chau v. Starbucks is notable: It not only rejects the commonly held understanding that as a matter of law supervisors cannot share in any tips, including those left collectively, but it also puts an express focus on customer intent, which will change the manner in which tip cases are litigated moving forward.