NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors who do much of the same work, a federal appeals court said Thursday.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based its findings in part on a June ruling by New York State’s highest court that excluded assistant managers from receiving a share of the tips.
Citing the findings by the New York Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit noted that it was undisputed that Starbucks’ shift supervisors spend a majority of time performing the same duties as baristas: serving food and beverages to customers.
Shift supervisors assign baristas to particular duties during their shifts, administer break periods and provide feedback to baristas about their performance. They also can open and close stores, change cash register tills and deposit money in the bank.
But the appeals court said those were limited supervisory duties and do not include hiring and firing employees.
“Thus, while shift supervisors may be able to coach baristas, they cannot formally discipline them,” the panel said. “On this record, no fact finder could conclude that shift supervisors have such a ‘substantial’ degree of ‘managerial responsibility’ that they are no longer akin to ‘general wait staff.'”
Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, representing the baristas, called the ruling “unfortunate” and said it lets employers subsidize the pay of its supervisors with money that should be going to their lowest-wage workers.
Laurel Harper, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company, said the company was pleased with the ruling.
“Our shift supervisors spend well over 90 percent of their time providing the same world-class customer service as our baristas,” she said.
It was unclear how the decision would affect other businesses in New York, where hospitality groups have said 42,000 businesses could be affected statewide.
Starbucks baristas are part-time employees who serve customers and share tips weekly based on hours worked. Shift supervisors are also part-time workers. Assistant managers work full-time with some benefits such as paid holidays and vacations and are eligible for bonuses.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- 1 Teen Dead, 1 Critically Injured After Fall From Roof In Bushwick
- Trump Blames Lack Of Bipartisan Support For Health Care Setback, Warns ‘Obamacare Is Exploding’
- Morning Collision At Penn Station Snarls Travel Through Evening
- Man Accused Of Swiping Bag Belonging To John Legend At JFK Airport
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)