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Originally published April 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 25, 2009 at 12:12 AM

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Starbucks lawsuit may be class-action

The lawsuit of a Starbucks store manager in Florida who claims the company violated federal law by not paying overtime was granted conditional class-action status this week by a U.S. District Court judge in Broward County.

Seattle Times business reporter

The lawsuit of a Starbucks store manager in Florida who claims the company violated federal law by not paying overtime was granted conditional class-action status this week by a U.S. District Court judge in Broward County.

The lawsuit, filed in January by Starbucks employee Ronald Reed, seeks to represent people who worked as Starbucks store managers from Jan. 15, 2006, to the present. His lawyers have until May 11 to give the court the names and addresses of those people.

A similar Florida lawsuit, covering an earlier time period, was settled last summer for an undisclosed amount. That case, which 900 plaintiffs had joined, also was conditionally certified as a class action.

Starbucks has faced several other compensation lawsuits in recent years.

Last year, a California court ordered the coffee chain to pay an estimated $100 million in tips and interest to baristas who were required to share tips with shift supervisors, who also do barista duties but have some managerial responsibilities. Starbucks is appealing that decision.

The company agreed last year to pay up to $3 million to settle a California lawsuit that alleged it did not reimburse employees for mileage expenses incurred on the job.

Also last year, Starbucks settled an overtime wage case in Houston. It paid an undisclosed amount to about 350 assistant managers who alleged they were forced to work off the clock.

Starbucks declined to comment on this week's court decision in Florida.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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