New York Supreme Court Will Hear Case on Starbucks' Tip Jars

The case could affect more than baristas' tips at the end of the day


When you leave your leftover change in your Starbucks' tip jar, do you ever think about who gets that last quarter? Now, the New York Supreme Court is set to take on a case that will determine who exactly gets their share of the tip jar at Starbucks and elsewhere. 

The Associated Press reports that the Court of Appeals, which is reviewing two separate cases, is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on a tricky question: should assistant managers and shift supervisors be allowed to take their share from the tip jar? As of now, Starbucks doesn't allow assistant managers to take tips because they are full-time, salaried employees with opportunities for performance-based bonuses. Shift supervisors, the in-between employees, are allowed to take tips. But the lawyers representing assistant managers argue that they spend the most time serving customers and deserve tips. 

But the issue most key to the decision is New York's definition of "company agents," employees that are forbidden to take from the tip jar by law. Therefore, the decision by the New York Supreme Court is expected to have far-reaching effects on New York's quarter-million hospitality workers statewide. 


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