"Starbucks' policy violates Minnesota law by requiring employees who work on a particular shift to share tips received on that shift with employees who do not work on that shift," Judge Patrick Schiltz of the Federal Court for the District of Minnesota wrote in an Oct. 16 clarification letter in response to questions from Starbucks...

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“Starbucks’ policy violates Minnesota law by requiring employees who work on a particular shift to share tips received on that shift with employees who do not work on that shift,” Judge Patrick Schiltz of the Federal Court for the District of Minnesota wrote in an Oct. 16 clarification letter in response to questions from Starbucks attorneys.

On Sept. 30, he denied class-action status for a lawsuit filed by two former Starbucks baristas, Sandra Delsing and Amber Boleng. The judge said the interests of the class would be divided, because some baristas come out ahead with the current policy.

Although Judge Schiltz said that Starbucks’ policy violates Minnesota state law, he has not decided whether plaintiffs in the lawsuit are entitled to receive damages, he said in the Oct. 16 clarification letter.

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said, “We are still actively litigating this case. As we’ve stated in the past, we are opposing the Minnesota case because we believe our tipping policy is fair and appropriate.”

This past summer, a California appeals court overturned a $86 million decision against Starbucks, saying the company did not violate state law by allowing shift supervisors to share tips with baristas.

Update: A reader pointed out that the law firm representing Delsing and Boleng also sued Caribou Coffee and a Minneapolis strip club over tipping practices.