ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Starbucks baristas in New York must share their tips with shift supervisors, but not assistant managers.
The state’s highest court found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and therefore get to share in the tips. The court also ruled the company can deny those tips to assistant managers.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Westchester Police Departments Travel To Harlem In Tribute To Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
The ruling, responding to two lawsuits, backed Starbucks’ policy of divvying up the tips, saying it’s consistent with labor law.
Hospitality industry groups say the state court decision will be felt far beyond shops owned by Starbuck, and will affect 42,000 businesses statewide and a quarter-million hospitality industry workers in New York City alone.
Starbucks baristas are part-time workers who serve customers and share tips weekly based on hours worked. They can be promoted after six months to shift supervisors.
Shift supervisors are also part-time wage workers who mostly serve customers, but also assign baristas, provide input on their performance and direct the flow of customers.
Assistant managers are full-time, get some benefits such as paid holidays and vacations, and are eligible for bonuses.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora Still In Critical Condition Following Deadly Shooting In Harlem
Attorney Adam Klein argued assistant managers spend most of their time serving customers and should get a share of the tip jar. Klein said his clients don’t have the power to hire and fire, which he argued means they aren’t “company agents” under labor law.
“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.”
Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. has nearly 18,000 retail stores in 60 countries. In April, it reported $3.6 billion in quarterly revenues.
Starbucks had 413 company-owned stores in New York at the end of its last fiscal year. Company spokesman Zack Hutson said the tip policy is applied consistently across the U.S., though not globally because laws differ in other countries.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]MORE NEWS: Lashawn McNeil, Suspect In Deadly Harlem Police Shooting, Was On Probation, Had 5 Prior Arrests
(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.)