New York’s highest court recently ruled Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors, but not assistant managers.
CBS Seattle reports that the Court of Appeals found shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and therefore get to share in the tips.
But the court also ruled tips can be denied to assistant managers because assistant managers are full-time, get some benefits such as paid holidays and vacations, and are eligible for bonuses.
Both Starbucks baristas and shift supervisors are part-time workers, but baristas serve customers and share tips weekly based on hours worked. They can be promoted after six months to shift supervisors.
Shift supervisors mostly serve customers, but also assign baristas, provide input on their performance and direct the flow of customers.
Attorney Adam Klein argued assistant managers spend most of their time serving customers and should get a share of the tip jar. Klein’s nonsensical, feeble argument is that his clients don’t have the power to hire and fire, and thus aren’t “company agents”under labor law.
That assistant managers work full-time with benefits, including paid holidays and vacations, and receive bonuses, must have slipped Klein’s mind.
“Employees who regularly provide direct service to patrons remain tip-pool eligible even if they exercise a limited degree of supervisory responsibility,”stated Judge Victoria Graffeo in writing the majority decision.
“But an employee granted meaningful authority or control over subordinates can no longer be considered similar to waiters and busboys, and, consequently, is not eligible to participate in a tip pool”
Starbucks has 413 company-owned stores in New York. Company spokesman Zack Hutson said the tip policy is applied consistently across the U.S., though not globally because laws differ in other countries.
“Hospitality industry groups say the state court decision will be felt far beyond shops owned by Starbucks. and will affect 42,000 New York businesses statewide and a quarter-million hospitality industry workers in New York City alone.”