An agreement is in place for Starbucks to pay up to $3 million to settle the lawsuit based on allegations that the popular coffee house did not reimburse named California employees for mileage related expenses incurred while on the job. Employers who typically incur mileage expenses while on the job include: store managers, assistant managers, and shift supervisors. These employees working at Starbucks stores located in California employed from March 2003 through March 2008 are eligible for payments of $30-75 each.
Attorney’s fees are included in the $3 million settlement as well as an undisclosed amount given to the representative plaintiff as an incentive award and a payment to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency of $25,000.
In the documentation, Starbucks agreed to class-action status for settlement purposes along – they do not accept liability. Within the settlement paperwork it was agreed that the plaintiff and plaintiff’s attorneys are not to respond to questions from the media. The only exception is to allow them to refer to court documents on file. Jonelle Lewis filed the lawsuit in March 2007. She had worked at Starbucks since December of 2005. She resigned within one month of filing the lawsuit. The lawsuit filed by Lewis claimed that she consistently used her personal vehicle for work purposes (i.e. bank deposits, obtaining supplies, etc.) She also claimed that she attempted to request reimbursement for the mileage, but that Starbucks’ response was not to reimburse as a matter of “policy.”
If you feel you that company “policy” in your workplace is conflicting with your rights as outlined in employment law, get in touch with the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.