Wednesday, June 3, 2009
We posted a while back on a California district court's $100 million-plus award against Starbucks to baristas who alleged that the company's requirement that tips for baristas be shared with shift supervisors violated California state law that prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities. The California Court of Appeals, however, has just reversed that award. The difference, according to the appellate court, was that the trial court based its decision on cases finding violations where tips given to individual employees were required to be pooled and ultimately distributed to managers among others. In this case, however, the tips were initially given in a "tip jar"--not to an individual employee. According to the court, Distributing initially pooled tips to managers did not violate the California law:
It's not clear to me that the public thinks that supervisors will receive some of the tips left in a tip jar (that's certainly not my intent when I leave such tips), but the legislature is going to have to make the statute more explicit if they want to prevent tip sharing with supervisors in all instances.