Fired after organizing, Starbucks baristas turned down a payout and took their bosses to court

Philadelphia baristas TJ Bussiere and Echo Nowakowska believe Starbucks illegally fired them for trying to organize a union. And after months of investigation, lawyers for the federal government thought the workers had a case. Cases such as theirs, which allege an employer has violated a worker’s legal right to organize, are rarely decided in court. Most workers avoid the risk of a long legal battle and settle. But last summer, when Starbucks offered Bussiere and Nowakowska a settlement, they didn’t think it was fair. The final offer was $50,000 each, the baristas said, more than three times t…

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