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Starbucks shift supervisors, not asst. managers, can share tips


Seattle – The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that Starbucks shift supervisors are eligible to share tips left in plastic containers by cash registers with baristas. However, assistant managers are not entitled to share in the tips.

Current Starbucks policy divides tips among baristas and shift supervisors, and excludes assistant managers and managers. Lawyers representing Starbucks baristas and former assistant managers had presented opposing arguments about whether the policy was legitimate in May. Judge Victoria A. Graffeo ruled that assistant managers at Starbucks are involved in too many managerial duties that do not involve directly serving customers to participate in collecting tips, but shift supervisors should be eligible.

"The [Department of Labor] has consistently and, in our view, reasonably, maintained that employees who regularly provide direct service to patrons remain tip-pool eligible, even if they exercise a limited degree of supervisory responsibility," Graffeo wrote in her ruling.

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