UnderCover Waitress: Starbuck's Lawsuit Resolution

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Starbuck's Lawsuit Resolution

In keeping with the heartfelt comment left on Baristas Fighting to Keep Tip Jar Tips:
I am a shift at Starbucks. I, personally would not care if the tips were exclusively for baristas. That being said, I do ALL the work that a barista does every day (Trash runs, register, drive-thru, making drinks, sweeping and mopping, cleaning the bathrooms, etc.) PLUS, I have the added stress of the "shift" duties (cash-handling, food orders, maintenance calls, conflict resolution, customer complaints, covering shifts for ill partners, etc.) When I became a shift, I received a $1 an hour raise. Everyone gets periodic raises throughout the year, so there are a few baristas at my store that make more than I do simply because they've been there for so long. Truthfully, it's the guaranteed hours that are the real benefit of being a shift. Not the hourly pay. Our tip rate usually ends up being between $1.30 and $1.60 an hour at the end of the week. If we shifts did not receive the tips anymore, many of us would be making LESS than baristas for doing the same job, and then some. Like I said before, I choose to remain a shift because of the guaranteed 37-39 hours a week I get. If the baristas decided that they felt it was unfair for us to receive tips, I would stop accepting them. I would never want to make my valued coworkers feel cheated.
the New York Court of Appeals found that shift supervisors are entitled to participate in the tip pool. Lawyers and Settlements explains why. 

In short, the job title "supervisor" may be misleading in this situation. The court found that shift supervisors do all of the work that baristas do, with a rather small additional amount of responsibility. The court found that shift supervisors are not managers. 

Because of their job duties, not their job title, shift supervisors are entitled to share in the tip jar earnings because the bulk of their job is serving customers, no different from a barista. 

One more time: thanks to the anonymous comment leaver for explaining it so well. The New York Court of Appeals agreed with your description of your job. 

I like to think of Starbuck's as a good company, so I am glad this has been resolved. 


Please share your thoughts.