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Peet’s Coffee Barista Files Class Action for Alleged Unfair Tip Sharing Policy


Along with making sure employees are properly compensated for their straight time and overtime, employers must also be aware that tips are fairly distributed. Peet’s Coffee & Tea is now facing a class action lawsuit from one of its baristas. The complaint, filed in San Francisco, alleges that the coffee shop chain had a corporate “tip sharing” policy, which allowed shift supervisors to share in the tips even though they rarely, if ever, work the cash register or serve customers.

The complaint alleges that baristas regularly work approximately 20-30 hours per week, but shift supervisors work at least 40 hours per week. Because Peet’s tip sharing system is allegedly based on number of hours worked, shift supervisors end up with the greater percentage of tips, even though they have the least customer interaction.

The complaint alleges that this is an unfair business practice under the Unfair Trade Practices Act because baristas did not receive all of their earned proceeds from providing customer service. The complaint is brought on behalf of the plaintiff and all similarly situated baristas of Peet’s Coffee & Tea who either work or have worked for the coffee store chain in the past four years. The lawsuit is seeking, among other things, certification of the class, damages, loss of earnings, and restitution of all tips due to Class Members.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center’s attorneys are investigating similar unfair tip sharing polices by other national restaurant chains. You can contact one of our attorneys by filling out our online form for or by calling us at 312-869-4095.

The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour claims including overtime, meal breaks, vacation pay, and tips. Our offices are conveniently located in Oak Brook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. If you think your employer may have misclassified you as exempt, contact a Elgin attorney today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form today.