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Lawsuit against Starbucks goes up in smoke

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STARBUCKS/Uh, dude, you forgot something.

That was essentially the message from a California appeals court to a group of unsuccessful Starbucks applicants who sued the Seattle-based coffee chain over its job application, which they claimed asked an illegal question about marijuana convictions.

California law bars employers from asking job applicants to disclose marijuana convictions that are more than two years old, and Starbucks’ application asks for seven years’ worth of criminal history.

The spurned baristas contended they and the 135,000 others who didn’t make the cut were entitled to $200 each for filling out the tainted application.  Citing potential damages that could run as high as $26 million, the company tried and failed to have the case thrown out, then appealed.

While criticizing Starbucks for placing a disclaimer describing the California law on the back of its NETHERLANDSapplication in tiny type, the appeals court nevertheless made a critical finding that killed the case — none of the plaintiffs had marijuana-related convictions and two had never even smoked pot.

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