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NY’s top court: Starbucks baristas must share tips

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POSTED June 26, 2013 9:13 p.m.

 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors, but assistant managers are left out in the cold, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

The Court of Appeals found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and therefore get to share in the tips. It also ruled that the company, which is based in Seattle, can deny those tips to assistant managers.

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 court’s decision likely will affect policies at similar restaurants and coffee houses and will affect 42,000 businesses statewide and a quarter-million hospitality industry workers in New York City alone.

The New York State Restaurant Association, which represents more than 56,000 restaurants, bars and clubs, called the decision a win for all New York hospitality employers seeking clarity on how to compensate employees.

“In this business, many staff members share all kinds of responsibilities, and now we have an understanding of who can participate in the tip pool,” association president Rick Sampson said.

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