Court says Starbucks baristas may pool tips

Advisory opinion clarifies New York’s tip-sharing law

Starbucks Corp. just won a battle with its own baristas.

First, some background. A few years ago, experts noted an uptick in tip-pooling lawsuits—suits in which plaintiffs claim their employers’ policies of pooling tips among certain employees violate state employment laws. The increase was due in part to a string of suits in which Starbucks baristas filed proposed class actions against the coffee chain, arguing that the company’s tip-sharing policy—in which tips are pooled among baristas and shift supervisors—isn’t legal because supervisors have managerial responsibility and therefore shouldn’t be entitled to tips.

Ashley Post

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