Business and Industry

A $100 Million Tip

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Yikes.

A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors. Saying baristas were entitled to $86 million in back tips plus interest, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction preventing Starbucks' shift supervisors from sharing in future tips. Cowett said the practice was a violation of a state law prohibiting managers and supervisors from sharing in employee tips.

Will they be obligated to track down everyone who's ever worked at a Starbucks to give them their reimbursement? And will crappy baristas get the same amount in back tips as the good ones?

NEXT: Update on the Ricks Forfieture Case

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  1. And will crappy baristas get the same amount in back tips as the good ones?

    Does anyone ever hand a tip directly to a server? Don’t all tips go straight into the same lucite box?

  2. You know, I appreciate good service, but in the case of Starbucks I can’t understand why there should be a tip involved at all. It’s like tipping the kid at McDonalds. Getting coffee at Starbucks is nothing like ordering drinks at a bar or a meal at a restaurant.

    I mean, it’s a free country, but when I see the jar sitting there I don’t pay it much mind. In fact, I am SURPRISED that there could possibly be 100 million in tips to kick back to the baristas. Who tips these guys?

  3. TWC,

    I usually use a credit card at SB and you get a reciept that you do not have to sign. Well, unless you go to the worst (of 3) SBs on Crystal Drive in Arlington, VA, the SB in the Crowne Plaza hotel. They want you to sign and total, they have a big giant tip line on the check too.

  4. Of the one hundred million dollars ordered for Starbuck employees, how much actually goes to the bumper-sucking lawyers who brought the case?

  5. oudemia,
    I am not a big consumer of Starbucks brand coffee (being that my local roaster tastes better and costs less) but every Starbucks I have been has not had a “tip jar”. In fact, until now I hadn’t realized that Starbucks baristas were allowed to take tips. Now I feel bad about that cup I had last night at B&N.

  6. Guy–I haven’t had to sign at SB for a debit card in over a year now.

    I will tip if I’m given exceptionally good and friendly service, I like to encourage that through more than just repeat business, but otherwise I don’t bother with the tip jar.

    Of the one hundred million dollars ordered for Starbuck employees, how much actually goes to the bumper-sucking lawyers who brought the case?

    The plantiffs should get, what, 15% of the total bill? Does anyone have a tip calculator?

  7. Guy,

    I enjoy putting a line thru the tip line at places like that. If I have to walk up to a counter, you aint getting a tip.

  8. Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing for the baristas of the world.

    Learn to f**king type!

  9. TWC,
    I usually tip my Baristas but there are extenuating circumstances, namely that in addition to my hot beverage I usually have them grind 2(or more) pounds of fresh coffee for me and that usually throws a kink in their operation. I guess I am sort of like that guy in the Visa Checkcard commercials who insists on paying with cash.

  10. Guy, our Starbucks folks are great, but still, it’s just a grande of Frog Roast (leave a little room for cream, please).

    how much actually goes to the bumper-sucking lawyers who brought the case

    recently got notice of a windfall like this on something though I don’t recall what. five dollar gift cards for each plaintiff. $485,000.00 legal fees for the bottom feeders.

  11. Is this a good thread to announce that Eliot Spitzer has been named the Whore Critic for The New York Times? If not, I’ll wait until later.

    I’m offended by these non-tipping-situation tip requests, too. Yeah, yeah, everyone’s underpaid, but why don’t the businesses pay their people adequately? Why look to me? What extra service am I paying for? I’m a pretty generous tipper in situations I recognize as tip-worthy, but this is too much.

    a Duoist,

    A guess would be about 40% of the total. Maybe a little less, but likely no less than a third of the total haul. It ain’t over yet, though–look for an appeal.

  12. Kwix, yeah, I understand that. And when I was buying gift cards and coffee at Christmas time, I did tip the girl. She was well worth her tip and then some.

  13. “Of the one hundred million dollars ordered for Starbuck employees, how much actually goes to the bumper-sucking lawyers who brought the case?”

    How to put this delicately, fuck you. Even if the lawyers got 100% this will aid all employees of starbucks by stopping the illegal practice.

    I am constantly amazed by libertarians that deride the court system. If you don’t believe in government regulation or litigation for illegal practices what the fuck is left? Oh, that’s right boot licking subservience to whomever has more money.

  14. I usually throw some random change in there if I get any back. I don’t normally use cash, but I do for purchases under $5. If the total comes to $2.86 or something, usually they’ll get the extra $0.14

  15. Observe and gawk at me, the only human on earth who has never been in a Starbucks.
    I did, however, get a Starbucks gift card for Christmas. What should I get with it?

  16. No nebby, fuck you. Yay, the baristas will get a few pennies more each “split” and a few dollars from the settlement, and the lawyers have yet another profitable reason to sue. Plus, the costs get handed over to the customers. Good job!

    Oh, and to anyone who serves me something yet does virtually no work, and expects a tip: fuck you too.

  17. Okay, regardless if you feel that it is proper or not to tip your barista, let’s get to the real matter here.

    Who in the fuck is the State to tell a business that it’s supervisors/managers cannot share in the tip jar. I can just see that as a selling point for the promotion:

    “Good news is you just got a promotion to supervisor and a $1.00 an hour raise. Bad news is you will loose $5.00 an hour in tips and have to work a more “flexible” schedule.”

    Fuck that noise. If the employees feel it’s a dishonest way to run the company, well that’s where fucking unions come in now isn’t it? Petition the company to change it’s policy or they strike. No need to draft an (damn near) irreversible law to regulate a fucking tip jar.

  18. “I’m offended by these non-tipping-situation tip requests, too. Yeah, yeah, everyone’s underpaid, but why don’t the businesses pay their people adequately? Why look to me? What extra service am I paying for? I’m a pretty generous tipper in situations I recognize as tip-worthy, but this is too much.”

    Thanks Mr. Pink. No one forces you to tip. I do it whenever I get a chance as a way of recognizing how lucky I am to not be in that situation. It’s a box you put some change in if you feel like it, to be offended by that is asinine.

  19. I did, however, get a Starbucks gift card for Christmas. What should I get with it?

    Go in your kitchen, make a pot of weak coffee, then steam some milk, add the coffee, and add 2 lbs of sugar (HFCS!!!). Then hand yourself the gift card and drink your shitty latte. Congratulations, you just saved yourself the drive to Starbucks.

  20. Getting coffee at Starbucks is nothing like ordering drinks at a bar

    Some of their better coffee drink/milkshakes actually require about as much work as a mixed drink. And I would say filling a beer glass and a coffee mug are pretty much the same.

    I usually throw some random change in there if I get any back. I don’t normally use cash, but I do for purchases under $5. If the total comes to $2.86 or something, usually they’ll get the extra $0.14

    Same here. I don’t buy coffee at Starbucks, but when I used to buy ground coffee at the coffee shop, I’d throw in an extra buck.

    My general rule is to tip the service at any place I plan to go back to. The servers remember, and if you stiff them, well, accidents can happen . . .

  21. Do you tip the bartenders at bars? My spouse and I tip or not depending on what we are ordering. If we are ordering something that has to be done individually, like cappuccinos, we usually tip unless the service has been sub par. We don’t tip for a large coffee that is dispensed out of a thermos bottle.

  22. Oh, and before anybody says that unions don’t work in the food service industry, understand that California (the state in question here) is one of the few who actually have an active Food and Service workers union.

  23. nebby –
    Starbucks employees are some of the best-paid teenagers ever.
    Do you go to Starbucks and see that they employ single-mother 40 year olds? No.
    So tone down that self-righteous bull.

  24. I did, however, get a Starbucks gift card for Christmas. What should I get with it?

    Get one of their frozen coffee drinks when it warms up. I despise Starbucks coffee, but their milkshakes are really good.

  25. Those “pennies” were earned by the baristas labor and will go to the light bill and feeding their families. If you are a complete self centered asshole that might be hard to empathize with.

  26. If you are a complete self centered asshole that might be hard to empathize with.

    If you are a self-righteous moron, it might be hard to empathize with people who make sense.

  27. Will they be obligated to track down everyone who’s ever worked at a Starbucks to give them their reimbursement?

    It’s not as big a problem as you think. After attorney and settlemant management fees, they’ll have maybe $10,000 to distribute. Not even worth the postage.

  28. “Do you go to Starbucks and see that they employ single-mother 40 year olds? No.”

    So you officially know nothing of which you speak. Were you aware that starbucks is one of the only service industry employers with a halfway decent health plan? Starbucks has shitloads of single parent and low income adult employees for that very reason.

  29. When the coffee shop craze got strated, the barristas actually had a skilled job operating the steam machines, ensuring that the timing, temperature, and other variables were just right.
    Now most of them have gone to these automatic machines that pretty much “assemble” your beverage the same way a soda fountain does. I’m sur ethe next technological improvement is to have the customers fill their own cups…
    I don’t even go into stores where they have the automatic machines, much less tip a barrista, or a dumb-fuck like nebby.

  30. I didn’t realize saying fuck the little people and their pennies was “making sense”.

  31. R C Dean,

    I despise Starbucks coffee, but their milkshakes are really good.

    I thought Starbucks was a milkshake company, like Dairy Queen. You mean they sell coffee, too? Whoa.

    nebby,

    Now, now, you’re putting us on. I almost believed you until your penultimate post. So many agent provocateurs amongst us!

    My stepson is looking for work. All of these types of jobs are generally held by high schoolers or college-aged kids. They’re usually being supported by their parents, aid, loans, or all of the above. Exactly why is wealth redistribution necessary? If you have extra money and want to help out, give it to those who need it. And will use it wisely, not on ten shots of tequila that you won’t get to partake of.

  32. I didn’t realize saying fuck the little people and their pennies was “making sense”.

    Maybe that’s because nobody said “fuck the little people”, the scary libertarian in your head said it. Take your Seroquel and it’ll stop.

  33. If you are a complete self centered asshole that might be hard to empathize with.

    This is true. Notice how little empathy you’re getting.

    The full story mentions that the supervisors who share the tips also help the customers and serve drinks, so they’re just as entitled to it as the baristas.

  34. A tip is given by a customer to the specific barista who serves him. The whole notion of that “tip” jar is communistic. STARBUCKS should institute a new policy, that the person serving you just reaches into the jar and pockets the money immediately after you tip them. Neither the company nor the IRS have any business messing with those tips. If a barista gets a generous tip and chooses to share it with others on that shift, that is a personal choice.

  35. I, also, usually put a line through the tip area at places like SB that do that nonsense.

    However, I do sometimes tip at SB when the Barrista is especially hot, like the one in the Crystal City Underground with the hottie Etheopian chicks.

    some guy,

    Venti Mocah, whole milk with whip.

  36. nebby–You want more money? Go get a marketable skill backed by a college education. Don’t bitch at us for your poor career choices.

  37. Tips are not just for good service, although that is a big part of it. It’s also rent on a seat.

    The thing that bugs me about tipping at SB is that most people don’t stay there. Why should I tip someone if I am not staying and stinking up the place for at least a little while? Same goes for any place where the no one has to pick up after me.

  38. Guy,

    My reaction to gorgeous Ethiopian girls is something along the lines of “Here is my wallet, please be gentle”.

  39. Oh, and I hope you enjoyed that health plan while it lasted, Nebby. What do you think is going to happen in to it now that Starbucks has this big judgment against it? They’re going to have to start cutting expenses somewhere.

  40. Tips are not just for good service, although that is a big part of it. It’s also rent on a seat

    Amen. When I go to a restaurant I usually tip more if I go at a busy time and sit longer (if it’s to my own choosing).

    Starbucks, however… Have you seen what they have to do to make the milkshakes? It comes in a box.

  41. “Yay, the baristas will get a few pennies more each “split” and a few dollars from the settlement,..”

    That wasn’t you? Or was that yay not sarcastic and you do support the workers?

    BTW, I own my own business and employ 31 people. I am just not such a tool that I can’t remember struggling to make ends meet and feel empathy for people who count out the change from their tips to keep the lights on.

  42. I’m very sorry the government taxes their tips, that’s fucked up. That ain’t my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn’t do that, I’ll sign it, put it to a vote, I’ll vote for it, but what I won’t do is play ball. And as for this non-college bullshit I got two words for that: learn to fuckin’ type, ’cause if you’re expecting me to help out with the rent you’re in for a big fuckin’ surprise.

  43. I am just not such a tool

    No, dude, you are. Really.

    people who count out the change from their tips to keep the lights on

    I would like to meet these people. Do they live in Imaginationland?

  44. So you are completely unaware the poor exist?

    I often defend libertarianism as being about liberty and not just being a club for selfish people. Thanks for making that a lot harder.

  45. So, despite always being heralded as one of the greatest places to work, it turns out that Starbucks has been underpaying its managers and hoping that the tips make up the difference The problem is that in California, that’s illegal. Greatest place to work my ass.

  46. nebby,
    dude, chill out.
    Libertarians, in general, just want to have more control over how they help others and for less of their “help” to be wasted in bureaucracy and for political gain.

  47. Reinmoose,

    Is that How Episiarch’s comments read to you? The poor only exist in imaginationland?

  48. *whispers*
    people are egging you on…

  49. nebby,

    my power bill has been insane the past 6 months; BGE has been raping me like a little whore. counting change as i type. as long as you feel the pain…wanna help me out?

    full disclosure:i’m not a 40 yr old single mother; (more like a 24 year old single guy with a heavy drinking problem) but i have been known to fuck a few 40 yr old single moms if that counts for anything…

    BTW, i own a blog that employs no one.

  50. I think Nebby is adorable.

  51. If you don’t believe in government regulation or litigation for illegal practices what the fuck is left?

    I believe in litigation for restorative justice and for compensation for harms. Absolutely.

    That’s not really what we have in our current civil court system, though.

    A tip is given by a customer to the specific barista who serves him. The whole notion of that “tip” jar is communistic.

    Actually, it’s not. Restaurant tips are properly pooled because the person who is the point of contact isn’t the only person whose efforts are needed to contribute to the enjoyment of the customer. Wait staff at restaurants typically share their tips with busboys, janitorial staff, etc. because even if you’re a great waiter if the plates don’t get picked up off the tables or if the bathroom looks like crap, you aren’t getting a good tip.

    In the case of a Starbuck’s, I can see the logic of tip sharing, because if one of the baristas is fucking up, it doesn’t matter how good the person serving me is doing – the store will be a disaster zone.

    That’s one of the reasons I think the law is absurd. I can almost-but-not-quite see having a law that prevents owners from seizing all tips and taking them for themselves – but a law that says that a supervisor can’t share in tips seems to undermine basic fairness, if the entire experience at the store is generally what’s being tipped.

  52. nebby–You can’t see anything fundementally wrong with a $100,000,000+ award simply for splitting tips with a manager in violation of a state labor regulation?

    It only enriches the plantiff’s bar all the more, increases the already crazy weight of bureaucracy and labor law, screws the SB customers and this is a good thing?

    Yeah, you win since you care the most.

  53. Fine. I will joyfully accept the rib if it means less people hold such an asinine position as the one I am arguing against.

  54. Get one of their frozen coffee drinks when it warms up. I despise Starbucks coffee, but their milkshakes are really good.

    Thanks. It’s already warm here where we don’t know how to vote. Now if only I can find one…

  55. Go get a marketable skill backed by a college education.

    Fixed.

    Some marketable skills require college, many do not.

  56. I will joyfully accept the rib

    That’s good, because you’re getting it, joyfully or not.

  57. Rob,

    If someone is taking money from you they have no legal right to, I am definitely on you side.

    The courts determined 86 million was illegally taken. Getting that back plus a little interest equals 100 million. If you want the penalty for illegally taking 86 million to be $500 I am sure you will find people willing to take you up on that deal.

  58. Epi,

    Glad to hear you are a jokester and not a moron.

  59. What Jesus fails to appreciate is that it’s the meek who are the problem.

  60. nebby,

    so that’s a no?

  61. Wow, yet another reason why income tax is immoral.

  62. nebby–You can’t see anything fundementally wrong with a $100,000,000+ award simply for splitting tips with a manager in violation of a state labor regulation?

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with it. The fact that they added interest seems to indicate that they are actual and not punitive damages.

    Starbuck’s knew what the labor laws were in CA, and they didn’t act in accordance with it. So every penny that was illegally split should be compensated.

    What is fundamentally wrong is people arguing that somehow Starbuck’s shouldn’t have to follow that law or that it is unfair of them to be punished for failing to follow the law.

    You can argue that the regulation is unfair or stupid or whatever….but it is what it is. Starbucks could have forgone the CA market if they didn’t like it. But what they can not do is merely ignore the regulation and not pay a price.

    As for whether supervisors should share in tips or whatever….the cold reality is that managers and supervisors are treated differently at all levels of government. If I remember correctly, the Bush admin ruled that supervisors — even if hourly — weren’t subject/entitled to overtime compensation because they are considered management.

  63. Rob,

    Nope, since you haven’t been stolen from I am not worried about you. BTW you did not need to identify yourself as being in your early twenties, I could tell from your post contents.

  64. I do it whenever I get a chance as a way of recognizing how lucky I am to not be in that situation.

    I’ve had to do heavy manual labor for low wages and no benefits. At the time I would have considered myself fortunate to have had a job where the heaviest thing I had to lift was a scoop of coffee beans. Given how unlucky I felt, I guess by your logic I should have taken money out of the tip box — except that I couldn’t afford even to go into a Starbucks at the time.

  65. One of the benefits of working for SB is that they have a stock purchase program, where employees have part ownership of a company they work for. If this verdict is upheld, it directly affects the bottom line of SB. And who suffers? The customers and employees (the ones that care, anyway). We should thank the lawyers for driving the stock price down and the price of a coffee up – it’s part of fighting injustice for a nominal fee.

  66. Yes Joe, taking someone else’s money is exactly the same as giving a tip of my free will out of gratitude for how well my life has gone (and for the service, of course).

    I dug ditches for sprinkler lines. That work was a pleasure compared to serving the people with the attitudes displayed here.

  67. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with it. The fact that they added interest seems to indicate that they are actual and not punitive damages.

    $86,000,000 in coffee house kitty spillage? I call major bullshit. I’d really like to see the math behind that number.

  68. Perhaps you should see the math before deciding it is bullshit?

    How many starbucks do you think are in California?

  69. $86,000,000 in coffee house kitty spillage? I call major bullshit. I’d really like to see the math behind that number.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, your expertise aside, the courts most likely double checked the math and the defendants had a chance to object to the number and offer their own numbers.

  70. Who in the fuck is the State to tell a business that it’s supervisors/managers cannot share in the tip jar.

    I think the idea is that the law is helping to enforce the typical expectations of a customer. The idea is that the typical customer thinks that the low paid employees are sharing in the tips and that the high paid employees are not.

    Even accepting this putative justification, one could make a couple of arguments against this law.

    One argument is to say that if typical customers have that expectation of the low paid employees getting the tips, then it is up to the customers to give the tips on condition of these expectations being met. I think that is fine in theory, but transaction cost prohibitive in practice. Therefore, I don’t personally agree with this argument against the law.

    A different argument is that typical customers don’t have the expectations assumed by the law, and that typical customers want the manager and the regional manager and the CFO of Starbucks and all the fine Starbucks shareholders to share in the tips. I think that anyone who makes that argument hangs around here at the HitnRun too much and needs to de-vulgarize a bit.

  71. We should thank the lawyers for driving the stock price down and the price of a coffee up – it’s part of fighting injustice for a nominal fee.

    I never understood this line of stupidity…

    how is it the lawyers fault for taking on a client who wants to sue?

    Jesus Christ…nebby has a point…you can on the one hand want private contracts instead of regulations and at the same time hate lawyers and blame them when parties are aggrieved litigate.

    We are a litigious society…accept it. Lawyers are just there to meet the demand of people who want to sue.

  72. I’m a hardworking American blood sweat and tears. College education healthcare talking points. End justifies means always, looking out for morons, people not individuals but money metric, lowest common denominator, socialism works really. Blather on blather on self-righteous.

  73. Waitaminnit… Does this state law apply to delivery drivers, too? And how many (and which) other states have a similar law, I wonder?

    My husband is a multi-unit supervisor for a pizza chain and sometimes he helps a store in trouble by delivering and he keeps the tips. Lots of shift supervisors have to do the same thing – drivers no-call no-show all the time – does this law state that a shift supervisor (or their superior) who does the work and EARNS the tips has to give up those tips to some shmuck who didn’t even bother to show up that day?

    I’m completely baffled by this.

  74. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, your expertise aside, the courts most likely double checked the math and the defendants had a chance to object to the number and offer their own numbers.

    Right CT. No court has ever railroaded a defendant with deep pockets. Ever.

    You’d think with this much money at stake, the judge could have mustered more than 4 paragraphs. Kinda hard to double-check the figures with that kind of brevity.

  75. Starbucks shift supervisors serve drinks and mop floors as well. At the end of the week (or every two weeks) all the money in the tip jars is totaled up, and then distributed based on the number of hours each of the employees worked.

    My expectation is that the tips are going to the people serving me the drinks and cleaning the store (and that includes the shift supes) so I don’t see how sharing out the tips with a shift supervisor is such a big deal.

  76. Exactly my thoughts, Celeste – you do the work, you should share in the tips, regardless of your job title. If all you do is sit in the back office making schedules, running P&Ls and playing solitaire, you don’t.

  77. In the food service industry, whether or not someone recieves a tip isn’t based upon how hard their work is, nor how long you occupy a table, nor even how well the employee performs his job. Tipped personnel are those who are paid at below the minimum wage. They are mostly servers and bartenders. So my rule of thumb is I tip servers and bartenders and no one else. And, although I didn’t much like it when I was a waiter, the IRS had as much claim to taxes on my tips as it did on my hourly wages. It is income, after all. ‘Course, the amount of tip income we were required to report was far below what I actually earned. We usually shared our tips with the busboys and the bartenders, but I don’t see reason why supervisors should be sharing tips (besides the fact that counter employees shouldn’t be getting tips anyway if they’re making over the minimum.)

    And to Some Guy: give your gift certificate to some homeless guy and go to DunkinDonuts and get a coffee. Black. No sugar. If you want a milkshake, go to an ice cream shop.

  78. Celeste,

    Employers get many breaks and allowances for how they treat someone if they are a supervisor. One of the rules that balances out those benefits granted to the employer is the rule against splitting tips. If you want to argue that the companies hide behind the supervisor designation to shaft those employees, you will get no argument from me.

  79. What are tips? Tips are basically a way that restaurants can lie about their prices.

  80. While in one of our local SBs a while back, my bill came to $5.01. I had a $5 and a $20 on me, so not wanting to break my $20 (and walk around the rest of the day with 99 cents in my pocket) I reached into that little clear plastic box on the counter to snag a penny (I thought it was a take-a-penny thingie like all the convenience stores have).

    All four drones behind the counter went apeshit, yelling loudly that that was their tip jar and to get my hand out of it. Of course, everyone in the place then turned to see who the heartless wretch was who would steal tip money from downtrodden barristas.
    Needless to say, I haven’t been back to SBs since.

  81. ‘Course, the amount of tip income we were required to report was far below what I actually earned.

    That’s a fallacy – you are required to report all earned tip income, not just the amount the restaurant puts on your W-2.

    I’ll find you Shirt, I want my 2 dollars.

  82. Good points, ChicagoTom.

    Nebby, I apologise for my earlier dig. No excuse, I was outta line.

  83. I just see a big difference between an actual ‘manager’ or ‘assistant manager’ at Starbucks and a ‘shift supervisor’. As far as I recall (I worked for about a year at Starbucks) assistant managers and managers did not share in tips. Shift supervisor is just one step up from barista, and barely one at that. It’s a title that’s pretty much meaningless.

    And in this case, if shift supervisors can’t share in tips, while they’re doing the exact same work as the regular baristas, it seems to me that it’s the state shafting the shift supervisors, and not Starbucks.

  84. Tom,

    I know you make too much money to be a “drone” but try a thought experiment. If someone behind you in line had taken that five out of your hand would you have gone apeshit?

    You thought it was a take a penny box? The dimes, quarters, dollars in there did not give you pause?

  85. Tom,

    Good thing you were not in a Calzone place in Manhattan!

  86. Celeste,

    Nope, it is Starbucks. By calling those people supervisors the company reaps large benefits. The company is then supposed to compensate those supervisory workers for those benefits. Starbucks wanted the advantages of calling those people supervisors and to then put the responsibility for compensating them extra on the backs of the line workers.

    If they are doing the same work they are not supervisors. Starbucks is trying to have it both ways.

  87. “That’s a fallacy – you are required to report all earned tip income, not just the amount the restaurant puts on your W-2.”

    Wait a minute … let me just check my tax returns from the 80s … OK, here they are. Sonofagun! Who would have thought that the amount the restaurant claimed for me in tips was exactly the amount I actually received?! I guess my memory inflated my tip earnings after all these years.

  88. Sorry, but the cost of a restaurant meal INCLUDES the “seat rental” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. If the owner does not include factore that into the cost of his food, fuck him. I tip for the service I am given, nothing more, nothing less. And I tip WELL over the “accepted” norms when it’s earned.

    Oh, and SB coffee sucks. Tim Horton’s for the win, baby.

  89. Bronwyn,

    When your husband filled in for a driver was he paid a drivers wage or did he continue to receive a supervisors wage?

  90. Employers get many breaks and allowances for how they treat someone if they are a supervisor.

    Breaks and allowances – from whom?

    If you mean from the NLRB, that body should not exist and none of its rules should exist.

  91. I’ll find you Shirt, I want my 2 dollars.

    Uh, my brother, this morning, got his arm caught in the microwave, and my grandmother, she dropped acid and freaked out and hijacked a school bus full of…penguins.

  92. nebby –

    I think it’s probably a difference in definition. A Starbucks shift supervisor is a regular barista who is responsible for opening/closing duties at the store, like passing out the tills. They don’t have hire/fire authority. They don’t actually ‘manage’. They’re just the ones who have access to the safe on a given shift, and they’re right there schlepping drinks with the rest of the baristas.

    If I call someone a “sanitation engineer” they’re still a person mopping floors, and a “qa engineer” is still just a software tester where I work. I think you should look at the actual responsibilities of the job, rather than the title, since title inflation seems to be all the rage.

    Going forward, it seems Starbucks can avoid this simply by changing the title ‘shift supervisor’ to ‘sr. barista’.

  93. “If you mean from the NLRB, that body should not exist and none of its rules should exist.”

    Talk about imaginationland.

    So you are not even in favor of child labor laws?

    If that 6 year old fucker didn’t want to pick coal he should have gotten a college education and a marketable skill I guess.

  94. JW said:
    Right CT. No court has ever railroaded a defendant with deep pockets. Ever.

    I can’t keep up…so who is the asshole? The lawyer? The person suing? The judge? The jury? The government ? The system?

    And no deep pocketed entity has every frivolously litigated against a poorer defendant (often times a competitor) just to tie them up in court and force them to either settle (since its cheaper than lawyer fees) or to force them to burn their money on lawyers?

  95. Celeste,

    If Starbucks changed the title and stopped claiming the shift supervisor was a supervisor then they would have to comply with the rules for non-supervisory employees. Starbucks doesn’t want that so they call them supervisors.

    Do you see where Starbucks’ actions are the issue here yet?

  96. I think the main question here is “when was nebby fired from Starbucks, and why?”

  97. Celeste,

    Like it or not, titles mean something in the USA.
    There may not be a “functional” difference…but once you give someone an official job title of “supervisor” our government’s regulatory bodies (Federal and State) treats them as “management” and this subjects them to different rules.

    We can debate whether the rules are proper or not, but they are the rules

    I agree that in practice, many people are mislabeled, but many companies purposely play the “job title” game to avoid the regulatory rules. In this instance, Starbuck’s rolled the dice and lost.

    They could have created a non-supervisory position..like a “Senior Barista” or something and made the job description to contain non-management duties.

  98. Gee, Nebby, he kept his regular wage. Why? Because while he was driving for the one store he was also supervising 5 others. He wasn’t “just driving”, he was doing somebody else’s job on top of his own.

  99. The reason I ask is that you can tell what role he was really fulfilling by looking at his wages. As you just admitted, he was really still being a supervisor. Part of his supervisor’s duties is to fill in where needed. That is why he was not entitled to the tip. He doesn’t have to give it to the driver who did not show up, but I am sure the other drivers would have appreciated him contributing the tip to them. That would also make him the kind of manager that has less problems with absenteeism and turnover.

    Everybody wins.

  100. I see where Starbucks’ actions are at issue – I’m not defending them. My sympathy goes to the shift supervisors who, going forward, will be doing the same work as regular baristas, but won’t be getting a share of the tips for it.

  101. So you are not even in favor of child labor laws?

    Right, because the reason children don’t work in coal mines in the US is because of the child labor laws.

    Hell, I was just the other day trying to put my 20 month old into a coal mine and the damn law wouldn’t let me.

    Spare me the dribble that comes from your statist education with its false and hagiographic “progressive” histories.

  102. I think the main question here is “when was nebby fired from Starbucks, and why?”

    What is not in question is that you lost the argument and now are making silly jabs without substance.

    FWIW, I never worked in a starbucks and I have only been in one a handful of times. I get my coffee from a hipster approved indie coffehouse fifty feet from my house. Elijah Woods was hanging out there all last weekend so I got to see his adorable new fringe beard.

    Frodo!

  103. BTW, nebby, even in libertopia it would be easy to contrive a protection against child labor, simply by declaring anyone below a certain age incompetent to enter into an explicit or implicit contract.

    I suppose you feel just as incompetent to participate in bargaining for labor conditions as a child would be, and that’s why you reflexively use the child labor laws as your go-to example. Nebby the fucking braindead child.

  104. Everybody wins but my husband and our family, you mean.

    But that’s ok with you because we’re filthy rich and can afford to lose $20 or $30 here and there, right?

    O_o

    I’ll be sure to enlighten my husband.

  105. There was child labor right up to the day it was outlawed by the laws you said you oppose.

    Own your convictions at least.

    Coffee fiend, you are a true gentleman/lady.

    Thank you.

  106. I’ll tell you why I tip bartenders – so they will serve me before you and buy me back.

    Considering a SB coffee slinger will not do either of those things, I will not tip them.

    The end.

  107. Point of order. Is this a Godwin.

    So you are not even in favor of child labor laws?

    If that 6 year old fucker didn’t want to pick coal he should have gotten a college education and a marketable skill I guess.

    A ruling from the judges would be appreciated.

  108. nebby –
    there’s a difference between what you see as preferential business practices and what’s moral.
    There is nothing moral about preventing Bronwyn’s husband from collecting tips that he rightfully obtained.

  109. What is not in question is that you lost the argument and now are making silly jabs without substance.

    Now we’re back to Imaginationland.

    nebby, why does the government have to force you to not hire children? What kind of monster are you?

  110. Episiarch –
    you should know by now that the law is not because of what you or I would do without it, but because of what other people might do.
    Duh!

  111. Reinmoose – I’ll just add to that and say that there’s also nothing moral in forcing him to hand those tips over to someone who didn’t do the work.

    What a nutty, communist idea.

  112. “Everybody wins but my husband and our family, you mean.

    But that’s ok with you because we’re filthy rich and can afford to lose $20 or $30 here and there, right?”

    It does suck when you lose money. It sucks even more when you lose money you are actually entitled to. Are you starting to see the baristas point?

    As far as you husband, I have no idea what you can afford. I did work at a Dominos and our multi-unit manager made 90-110K a year in 1986. When he filled in he gave his tips to the drivers making six bucks an hour. His family seemed to have survived.

    Furthermore, to put it in selfish terms, part of the reason our manager did so well was bonuses from a low absenteeism and turnover rate. People recognize quality management that cares.

  113. As far as you husband, I have no idea what you can afford. I did work at a Dominos and our multi-unit manager made 90-110K a year in 1986. When he filled in he gave his tips to the drivers making six bucks an hour. His family seemed to have survived.

    Furthermore, to put it in selfish terms, part of the reason our manager did so well was bonuses from a low absenteeism and turnover rate. People recognize quality management that cares.

    nebby –
    You do realize that what you’re arguing for is the same thing that we’re arguing for, right?
    If these practices were mandated by law, do you think they would have the same results?

  114. J sub D,

    It’s Godwin’s Law only if the children are Jewish. If not, then it’s Dickens’ Law.

  115. The law is to address what other people have done, not what they might do.

    I don’t need a child labor law to stop me. I also don’t need a law to stop me from stealing my employees tips to supplement my non-supervisory wages for someone I labeled a supervisor.

  116. Nebby, there were about four pennies and a nickel in the box. I guess the head barrista had just made a bank run.

    At our local conveniences stores, it’s not unusual to see quarters, as well as Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollars

  117. Wow, nebby, you are stupider than I thought. You just so don’t get it, do you.

    Tell me something that you do do, and then I will propose a law that fucks you, and I will claim it is “for the children” or “for the poor people”. Plus, I will adopt a moralizing, self-righteous tone while doing so.

    Sound good?

  118. I can’t keep up…so who is the asshole? The lawyer? The person suing? The judge? The jury? The government ? The system?

    Magic 8-Ball sez “All of the above.” Probably.

    And no deep pocketed entity has every frivolously litigated against a poorer defendant (often times a competitor) just to tie them up in court and force them to either settle (since its cheaper than lawyer fees) or to force them to burn their money on lawyers?

    And that has to do with the present case, how exactly?

  119. Reinmoose,

    We are talking about two different things. Laws set the floor and protect the little guy. The ceiling can be whatever you decide is best for your business.

    I wouldn’t have brought up child labor if there hadn’t been such a know-nothing statement as all labor laws should be abolished. People violate child labor laws in this country even with the risk of punishment. So arguing, there would not be violations without the law is silly.

  120. The real point here is that you don’t know what you’re trying to argue.
    Take it one front at a time.

    First it was something about not caring about the poor baristas.

    Then it was something about child labor law.

    Then it was attacking Bronwyn’s husband because you don’t think he was using the best management strategy to get the best results from his employees (der….the carrot approach?), and possibly also suggesting that it should be illegal for him to accept tips because of how you perceive his job description to be.

    Now you’re arguing…what? I can’t keep up.

  121. Epi,

    So you have now expanded your argument from all labor laws are pointless to all laws everywhere are pointless.

    Yeah, I am the stupid one.

    “Tell me something that you do do, and then I will propose a law that fucks you, and I will claim it is “for the children” or “for the poor people”. Plus, I will adopt a moralizing, self-righteous tone while doing so.”

    Well, you have had a moralizing self righteous tone this whole time. We just have different morals.

    Laws can go bad for sure, but are you really so juvenile that you think the sole purpose of laws is to fuck you?

  122. Your MUS’s salary in 1986 is irrelevant here – a sup makes what his or her franchise owner can afford (or wants) to pay. The differences can be substantial and have nothing to do with effort required. I’ll just tell you that, including bonus, my husband’s take-home today from a franchise group is nowhere near what it was 15 years ago when he worked for corporate. Times have changed, and don’t think for a second that a MUS would be making the equivalent of that 1986 salary in 2008 dollars. It doesn’t happen.

    Furthermore, to put it in realistic terms, not everyone needs free money to spur them to work hard and do their best. Some people don’t care and won’t care, no matter what you do. Some people will skim and steal and break policies simply because they think the rules don’t apply to them. Then you fire them and they apply for unemployment insurance and you wind up paying them anyway. At least, that’s how it works in Indiana – a right-to-work state.

    In at-will states, it’s a little easier to deal with the low-lifes.

    You can be the best supervisor on the planet and, if your stores are in one-horse town meth head meccas, no matter how much money you give away, it’s a constant uphill battle to build a reliable, strong team.

    At bottom, bully for the manager whose pockets are so full he can give away free money. That’s nice and admirable, but it should be left to the individual’s prerogative.

    The point is that this shouldn’t be legislated.

  123. Now you’re arguing…what? I can’t keep up.

    Well, I am arguing several points with several different people. If you can’t keep up I would suggest looking at the names of the people I am addressing.

    If I have to pick one, I will go with there is nothing wrong with laws that prevent employers from stealing from their employees.

    Attack away.

  124. nebby, no one said it’s ok to steal from employees. What is being argued (by everyone other than you, it appears) is that it’s not ok to, by force of law, prevent someone from keeping moneys they worked to earn – regardless of their job title.

    It all goes back to that well-loved libertarian idea that forced wealth redistribution is wrong.

  125. Think real hard about this quote:

    “Some people will skim and steal and break policies simply because they think the rules don’t apply to them.”

    You are almost there.

  126. The overwhelming point that you’re missing is that it’s none my business what you choose to pay your employees. It’s one thing if you’ve broken a contract with them, at which point it becomes a judicial matter.
    But would you, or would you not like it if we all decided that you needed to pay your employees 500% more than you currently do, and we decided this based on what we perceived was best for “everyone?”

  127. nebby, you’re so sweet to encourage me that way.

    You’re now going for the argument that “it’s the law, they should suck it up.” Fine. My only point is, “the law is wrongheaded and should be tossed out.”

  128. nebby –
    do you think there is a disproportionate proportion of management positions in Starbucks in California, as it compares to other states (that do allow management to share in tips)?
    It’s possible there is, but that would have to be what you’re getting at in order to prove wrongdoing.

  129. Chicago Tom,

    If Starbucks doesnt violate the law, how can they get sued and appeal to get it overturned?

    Unlike you, I strongly support individuals (and the bogus individuals that companies are) violating bad laws. This is one for the employee and employer to negotiate out, not for the state to interfer in.

    Violating bad laws is good for America. Keep it up Starbucks!

  130. Aw, Taktix. You *just* missed it, too!

    😀

  131. If I have to pick one, I will go with there is nothing wrong with laws that prevent employers from stealing from their employees.

    If this means not jacking them out of agreed upon compensation, sure thing. We agree.

    But if we’re talking about tips, then that’s a whole different and nebulous ball game. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what the patron intended when they supplied that tip. Should part of it gone to a senior employee? Should it have gone to just the barista? Did they have any expectation at all? Maybe they just liked the cute redhead behind the counter.

    We’re assuming that there is a code somewhere, carved in stone and handed down from the restaraunt gods as to who exactly should be getting a tip.

    Frankly, I don’t care who gets my tip. That’s for the staff and management to work out. Why the state thinks they have to get involved and have a say is a real puzzler.

  132. If I have to pick one, I will go with there is nothing wrong with laws that prevent employers from stealing from their employees.

    What theft? The money was in Starbucks jar. It was never the employees money until given to them by the employer. If they choose to give some to “supervisors”, thats too damn bad for the baristas.

    However, if the tip is handed directly to the employee, it is theirs to do with as they wish (its a gift from the customer at that point), unless they have an agreement to do otherwise with the money.

  133. Now we really are branching off into libertheory and not talking about Starbucks at all.

    How about this, the above discussed judgment was perfectly correct and appropriate under current law, but there are people out there who think the law should be changed.

    Peace at last.

  134. So let’s say that a typical US starbucks has 1 “management” position per 5 employees (1 management position + 4 baristas).

    Are you suggesting that a typical California Starbucks has 2 management positions, or 3 management positions per 5 employees, and that is how they are shafting the people placed in “management” positions?

    If they tried to do what I consider to be the right thing, by having 0 “managment” positions per 5 employees (meaning, mostly, “shift supervisors, or whatever) so that all the employees who participate to the customer experience share the tips, would you not complain that they were circumventing the law?

    The implication is that they should have immoral business practices because the law is immoral. Is that about right?

  135. And that has to do with the present case, how exactly?

    It is exactly as relevant as your “courts screw deep pocketed defendants” comment. Except that my comment was to refute your quaint notion of how the guys with the deep pockets are nothing but mere victims of “the system” ( a system that their deep pockets allow them to have much more sway/influence over the regulatory bodies than you or I or any other working class stiffs have)

  136. nebby is for laws that force people to behave the way (s)he likes. nebby is against laws that force him/her to not behave the way (s)he likes.

    Freedom doesn’t factor in unless it’s his/her freedom.

    Hope that clears everything up.

  137. If Starbucks doesnt violate the law, how can they get sued and appeal to get it overturned?

    Well let’s see…there is this thing called “the court”…and people who have something called “standing” may sue to challenge/overturn laws or restrain the government for enforcing the while the courts sort out the validity/constitutionality of the laws.

    Or is your position really that the only way to challenge a law is to violate it?

  138. nebby,

    How about this, the above discussed judgment was perfectly correct and appropriate under current law, but there are people out there who think the law should be changed.

    Peace at last.

    Close. After “…law should be changed.”, add on, “The lawyers bringing the lawsuit and the legislators who passed the laws, and the judges upholding the law should all be shot for opposing freedom. Peace at last.”

    That should about cover it. 🙂

  139. “a system that their deep pockets allow them to have much more sway/influence over the regulatory bodies than you or I or any other working class stiffs have)”

    What elephant in what room?

    I got eggs to dye. Bye.

  140. It is exactly as relevant as your “courts screw deep pocketed defendants” comment.

    Except that could be what is happening in this instance. If Starbucks was the plantiff, you might actually have a point.

    $86,000,000 is a magic number. Take a number that may, or may not, have any merit, but the court accepts it for whatever its reasoning is (and since the opinion could fit on a 3×5 card, good luck figuring that out) and multiply times the number of class members the plantiffs were able to shove down the throat of the defense (“objection noted”). Viola! Penalty!

    Hence, bullshit.

  141. ChicagoTom,

    Would starbucks have had standing if they were following the law?

    This seems to vary, Im not a lawyer, but it seems sometimes the only way to get standing is to first violate the law.

    I would be all for them sueing, assuming they are granted standing, but they shouldnt have to. The state should just keep the fuck out.

    Also, I dont think people should consider the law when deciding how to act. Ignorance of the law may not be an excuse in court, but I shouldnt need any knowledge of it to get thru the day. I oppose drug laws but Im not going to start smoking pot just to violate them, but if I decide to, Im not going to consider the law before I do it. And I shouldnt have to.

  142. Unlike you, I strongly support individuals (and the bogus individuals that companies are) violating bad laws. This is one for the employee and employer to negotiate out, not for the state to interfer in.

    I support civil disobedience as well, usually as a form of protest. The thing is…most people who perform acts of civil disobedience also face/accept the penalties. So if Starbucks thinks $100 million is worth it to get press/coverage on this issue of unfair regulations that doesn’t allow supervisory positions to share in the tips than so be it.

    me — I think I would have challenged the regulation first — and then acted accordingly based on the success/failure of that challenge.
    Either that, or I would have created a job position/description that would allow them to share tips that doesn’t run a foul of state law.

  143. “nebby is for laws that force people to behave the way (s)he likes. nebby is against laws that force him/her to not behave the way (s)he likes.

    Freedom doesn’t factor in unless it’s his/her freedom.”

    As long as we are going for empty headed slogans without meaning:

    Freedom isn’t free, it costs a buck o’ five.

    Really now, goodbye.

  144. Would starbucks have had standing if they were following the law?

    Standing is granted to anyone who is directly affected by the law. So anyone doing business within the state of california would have standing to sue over the regulations.

    Also, I dont think people should consider the law when deciding how to act. Ignorance of the law may not be an excuse in court, but I shouldnt need any knowledge of it to get thru the day.

    What? People shouldn’t have to consider the law to decide how to act? Seriously?? Why not? People don’t have a responsibility to be informed of the laws where they live/work/etc and to act in a manner that conforms to the laws? No thanks….i oppose anarchy.

    And let’s not conflate Corporations and people. Corps might be considered “people” under the eyes of the law, but most corporations have at least a lawyer at most a legal team. It’s called due dilligence, and yes anyone doing business should have to do it.

  145. As long as we are going for empty headed slogans without meaning

    You’ve been going for them the whole time, so you might as well keep going.

  146. ChicagoTom,

    I support civil disobedience as well, usually as a form of protest. The thing is…most people who perform acts of civil disobedience also face/accept the penalties.

    You posted probably before you saw my last post, but Im not necessarily talking about civil disobedience. If you are violating the law as a protest, you should face the penalties as part of your protest. Im just talking about not needing to consider the government at all as long as you are acting in a non-harmful to others manner.

    Look, as is obvious by posting here, I am interested in politics. Why? Because I want to one day have a world in which I know longer have to ever pay attention to politics again. Ditto the law.

  147. You can think Nebby is being a bit shirty and full of ‘tude, and hate the lawyers, but the fact is that Starbucks appears to have broken a (stupid, unlibertarian) law and gotten spanked for it. So I agree with the underlying point Nebby is making about lawyers enforcing the law via lawsuits.

    I don’t shop at Starbuck’s, but if I did, I’d think about finding a new coffee place to do business when they raise their prices even more to cover the cost of this bloody lawsuit.

    As for tips — if the person serving me has a good attitude, they get a tip of 15% to 25%, depending on how great a job they did. If they act like Nebby apparently does, like it’s an entitlement, not so much so. I don’t care if you think your life sucks (even though by the standards of most of the rest of the world, you have a great life), if you want my money or a tip, do something to improve my life, if only by smiling and being pleasant when serving me a drink. If you’re unwilling to make that minimal effort to help others and give them value they want to compensate you for, you deserve a sucky life.

  148. @Epi

    Better Off Dead, ftw!

  149. Does NOBODY realize that nebby is just joe? Lower case and all.

    Don’t feed the troll.

    CB

  150. What? People shouldn’t have to consider the law to decide how to act? Seriously?? Why not?

    Because if I act in a moral/ethical manner, it should be impossible for me to violate the law. It isnt, but it should be. So why do I need to consider the law before acting?

    Im not an anarchist either, but the only government I support isnt to damn far away from it.

  151. a system that their deep pockets allow them to have much more sway/influence over the regulatory bodies than you or I or any other working class stiffs have

    But yet, Starbucks seemed to have missed this train. Could it be because most labor law is written heavily against businesses interests?

  152. This idea that corporations wield untrammeled influence in government is silly. Look at this law. Look at most laws. Look at California’s open-ended consumer protection laws. No, businesses have their influence, but their influence is nothing compared to the influence of the masses.

  153. a world in which I know longer

    I support isnt to damn far away

    In that world, Im going to take spelling lessons.

  154. JW you are working off of so many assertions it’s amazing.

    $86,000,000 is a magic number.

    You are asserting…without any facts to back it up, that based on the amount of the judgment, Starbucks must have gotten railroaded.

    It’s “magic” to you because you “think” this number was just pulled out of someones ass.

    I’m gonna go ahead and confidently assert that the court knows more about the validity of this number than you do. It may seem excessive to someone who isn’t involved in the proceedings (like you), but since this is the product of litigation, in our adversarial system, both sides were allowed to present their facts, and this was the number the court found to accurately reflect the damages in this case.

    There is NOTHING that indicates that anyone was railroaded. You can wish it and repeat it baselessly all you want, but either put up some PROOF or STFU.

    Furthermore, just because SOME deep pocketed defendants MAY have been railroaded — reasonable people do not use that as a justification to start from the position that all deep pocketed plaintiffs must be getting railroaded whenever there is a judgement against them.

  155. Better Off Dead, baby! Yeah!

  156. This idea that corporations wield untrammeled influence in government is silly. Look at this law. Look at most laws. Look at California’s open-ended consumer protection laws. No, businesses have their influence, but their influence is nothing compared to the influence of the masses.

    . Could it be because most labor law is written heavily against businesses interests?

    Like the Lousiana Florist regulations?

    The reality is that many are the equivalent of CFR laws. There to protect the established players. Many regulations are nothing but anti-competition laws and barriers to entry to protect the established entities. These come into place because of lobbying and donations by companies who want to protect their bottom line and don’t want to innovate or compete with innovators.

    And the reason many why there are also lots of regulations to protect laborers is because before these regulations came about, most businesses were in fact taking advantage of their workers.

    Let’s keep in mind that regulations tend to come AFTER abuse happens. Regulations weren’t there on day 1. They were a response to the actions of the actors.

  157. God forbid we have regulations that would hurt an innovative entrepreneur like Eric Pony

    From the article:
    Bremner found pieces of documents that had been cut to remove signatures and notary seals. Loan applications, escrow agreements and other documents had signatures that had been taped on, he said.

    The group is accused of targeting unknowing homeowners whose homes had escalated in value by offering dreamlike mortgage refinancing offers, with promises of cash back and lower monthly payments, Bremner said.

    Victims later learned they had been locked into high-interest rate loans, excessive fees and unfavorable terms. In some cases, the cash back never materialized.

    Late Tuesday, the alleged ringleader in the scam, 25-year-old Eric Pony, and his sister, Paulette Pony, 23, turned themselves in to police to face charges including conspiracy, grand theft, forgery and elder abuse. Five other suspects were also arrested.

  158. You are asserting…without any facts to back it up, that based on the amount of the judgment, Starbucks must have gotten railroaded.

    No kidding. That’s the whole idea behind calling bullshit. It’s a HUNCH.

    since this is the product of litigation, in our adversarial system, both sides were allowed to present their facts, and this was the number the court found to accurately reflect the damages in this case.

    You should talk to Radley about how that adversarial system is working out. I’m thinking there might be a few bugs in that system.

    There is NOTHING that indicates that anyone was railroaded.

    There is also nothing to suggest that anyone wasn’t. You know as little as I do, but yet have no trouble with your own confirmation bias.

    You can wish it and repeat it baselessly all you want, but either put up some PROOF or STFU.

    Surely. Oh wait, THERE IS NONE since the court issued a 4 paragraph opinion. And since Starbucks is appealling the judgement, I’m guessing things weren’t as adversarial as you presume.

  159. What? People shouldn’t have to consider the law to decide how to act? Seriously?? Why not?

    Because if I act in a moral/ethical manner, it should be impossible for me to violate the law. It isnt, but it should be. So why do I need to consider the law before acting?

    robc, what side of the street do you drive on? Is that a moral or an ethical decision?

  160. Like the Lousiana Florist regulations?

    That’s terrific. What does that have to do with what we’re talking about?

    God forbid we have regulations that would hurt an innovative entrepreneur like Eric Pony

    Isn’t fraud already against the law? And again, what does this have to do with the case at hand?

    Stop throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks.

  161. I found this googling the case to see what is out there:

    Tracked on Jun 26, 2006 7:09:37 PM

    As a shift supervisor my day was as follows.

    Come in, run open store procedures, count tills.
    While a barista set up the bar for open I would set up the pastry case, brew our two coffees, make whip creams and ice teas. Then I would run a till while my opener ran bar for about an hour, during this time I would recieve the pastry order. Then we would switch. After three hours, my second barista came in. At that time I would send the opener on a fifteen and run bar. An hour later the third barista would come in and by that time we would be full swing. I would spend most my time hopping between bar and tills and/or floating and doing cafe sweeps to clean and restock. We would rotate who was on bar. T

    Things would slow down around 11. I would split my time between doing any counts for orders that might need doing, assign cleaning lists (which included tasks for me) and rotate people out for lunch. At 1 a second shift (or manager) would come in and we would do a change over. I would spend the last hour of my shift doing some prep or cleaning.

    All in all I did everything a barista did, I made drinks, I stocked, I cleaned, I ran a till, I poured coffee and I assisted customers with retail. On TOP of that, I placed orders, did counts, counted tills, assigned tasks and handled customer issues.

    As a shift supervisor, I had as much labor and face time as any other employee. I contributed as significantly to the customer experience as any other barista…yet this son of a bitch Jou Chou (sorry, this guy needs an ass kicking) says that I’m stealing from him? My base rate of pay is a freakin DOLLAR more than a barista, I do their job PLUS part of a manager’s job.

    This shit is going to backfire spectacularly. Any tipped person who does stuff to draw attention of the goverment to their tips is a blooming idiot.

  162. Nebby,

    I think you’ve done a very good job poking holes at some libertopian thinking. You’ve clearly put more thought into your position than your opposition. It’s a shame to see the low level of analysis of many libertarians.

  163. I am impressed and a little shocked at the people who managed to keep fighting with nebby. I couldn’t even read it all.

    That said, you should tip at least ten percent to any waiter/waitress/server/bartender, because their salaries are lower, often below minimum wage (thus your prices are lower) in the expectation of tipping. And you can spout off about tips shouldn’t be expected, or the tip starts at zero and goes up with good service, all you want. You’re still a dick.

  164. parse

    robc, what side of the street do you drive on? Is that a moral or an ethical decision?

    Ethical. Unless Im doing it to intentionally ram people, then probably moral.

    As I was typing that sentence I was actually thinking about speeding and decided that fit just fine. Following traffic rules is an ethical issue, just like a lawyer following his profession’s ethical code. Driving in a way that endangers others is immoral.

    And, yes I have to “know” the law to know which side of the street to drive on. But, that is more of a social construct than a law. It just happens to be a law too. But, when I decide to drive on the right, it isnt because Im obeying the law. Im doing it to allow traffic to flow properly. Unlike selfish people who follow the law for their own benefits, I do things like that in order to be nice to others. 🙂

  165. Well, unless your server gives you actively bad and rude service. Then stiffing is okay. But anyone who is passable deserves at least ten or fifteen percent.

  166. To be a bit more substantive, the summation of Nebby’s antagonists seems to be:

    -Regardless of what the law says, Starbucks shouldn’t be held to account for it

    -Regardless of what the law says plaintiffs are entitled to, lawyers shouldn’t take these cases at the market rate

    -If we’re actually talking about *changing* the law (which is a potentially correct critique, and has more validity than those above), let’s suggest abolishing all labor laws and not even consider the idea that those very laws protect against things like child labor.

    -Morally, it’s wrong to tip your barista, because that’s easy work, whereas I lifted 200 pound blocks for 12 hours a day. It’s hard to see how this critique fits in with libertarian theory, given that you presumably were freely able to change jobs, but instead chose a difficult job at low wages, rather than a more pleasant one with tips. Not that you’re at all resentful, because libertarians are purely meritocratic in their thinking.

  167. SCF,

    Can you find anyone who suggested all those things? Combining them together just makes a gianter strawman.

  168. Regardless of what the law says, Starbucks shouldn’t be held to account for it

    Just as a hypothetical (not saying this law is unconstitutional), what punishment is fitting for someone who violates an unconstitutional law?

  169. SCF is nebby. I guess he/she/it finished dyeing eggs. Sock puppets, unite!

  170. Regardless of what the law says plaintiffs are entitled to, lawyers shouldn’t take these cases at the market rate

    I have no problem with lawyers getting market rates. Im a libertarian, whatever they negotiate with their clients is fine by me. However, in a class action, they need to negotiate their rate with ALL their clients. In other words, I favor an “opt-in” system for class action lawsuits, not an “opt-out”. You are only representing members of the class who sign on with you before the trial. You only get damages for the clients who sign on, and you get your percent from that.

  171. nebby, I had some sympathy for your position, but this:

    nebby | March 21, 2008, 3:16pm | #

    The reason I ask is that you can tell what role he was really fulfilling by looking at his wages. As you just admitted, he was really still being a supervisor. Part of his supervisor’s duties is to fill in where needed. That is why he was not entitled to the tip. He doesn’t have to give it to the driver who did not show up, but I am sure the other drivers would have appreciated him contributing the tip to them. That would also make him the kind of manager that has less problems with absenteeism and turnover.

    Is one of the most asinine things I have ever read, if serious.

  172. Just as a hypothetical (not saying this law is unconstitutional), what punishment is fitting for someone who violates an unconstitutional law?

    Well, theoretically, the law is struck down if it is unconstitutional.

    However, there is no independent, God-like arbiter of constitutionality available to rule on constitutionality. Thus, judges decide what’s constitutional or not, and presently, this law is understood as constitutional. You can suggest that this is a poor understanding of the constitution (as I might), but it is the prevailing understanding. You can also suggest that it’s such a poor understanding that it shouldn’t be obeyed, but that’s equivalent to calling for the demise of rule of law. If you’re doing that, that’s fine, but most people don’t want such a revolution.

    Otherwise, until the law is struck down as unconstitutional, it is constitutional and we’re bound to accept its consequences irrespective of our personal opinions.

  173. No kidding. That’s the whole idea behind calling bullshit. It’s a HUNCH.

    OK..I call bullshit on your hunch.

    You should talk to Radley about how that adversarial system is working out. I’m thinking there might be a few bugs in that system.

    Criminal and civil litigation are quite different. In this case we are talking about a dispute between two private entities, not the government vs a private individual. I definitely have more faith in civil litigation than in criminal ones where the courts defer too much to the government.

    So I ask you…what do Radley’s posts on criminals being railroaded by the gov’t have to do with civil litigation between to private entities?

    But regardless…just because some cases have been miscarriages of justice doesn’t mean that MOST are or that it is fair/safe/smart/logical to start from that assumption whenever looking at trial outcomes.

    There is also nothing to suggest that anyone wasn’t. You know as little as I do, but yet have no trouble with your own confirmation bias.

    No one is claiming they got railroaded. Just because Starbucks chose to appeal doesn’t prove railroading. I don’t think its “confirmation bias” to believe that the courts treated both parties fairly in this litigation. The burden of proof is on the person claiming that things were unfair.

    Look JW…Im not gonna play this game with you.
    You wanna pretend that any verdicts you don’t agree with must have been a railroading, feel free…it exposes you though.

    There is no reason to suspect Starbuck’s didn’t get a fair trial. Unless there is some evidence (or even a claim by a litigant) that there wasn’t a fair trial, then yeah..i am gonna assume the court got it right. And maybe that’s why it was only 4 paragraphs — because it was a pretty obvious violation of the regulations (I didn’t know that opinions had a minimum length in order to be considered fair/valid)

    That’s terrific. What does that have to do with what we’re talking about?

    It refutes the assertions made upthread that regulations are merely there to hinder business…follow the thread JW — not every comment/reply is ONLY about THIS SPECIFIC Case.

    I see by your comments that you are having a hard time keeping up with more than once thought at a time. it’s ok though — reading is hard work.

  174. SCF,
    Can you find anyone who suggested all those things? Combining them together just makes a gianter strawman.

    Alright, I’ll admit it’s full of exaggeration and hyperbole. Nonetheless, I don’t find much substantive in argument or reasoning in Nebby’s antagonists. Am I missing something?

  175. I have no problem with lawyers getting market rates. Im a libertarian, whatever they negotiate with their clients is fine by me. However, in a class action, they need to negotiate their rate with ALL their clients. In other words, I favor an “opt-in” system for class action lawsuits, not an “opt-out”.

    Fair enough. I’m not well-versed in the issues surrounding class actions, but I understand the basic premises to include minimizing the strain on the judicial system, and addressing a market failure (the transaction costs associated with suing for small quantities of money). But given that we have the current system, I don’t see why there’s outrage over the lawyers’ fees in this action.

    If the law is bad, legislators should stick up to the plaintiff’s bar and change it.

  176. Criminal and civil litigation are quite different. In this case we are talking about a dispute between two private entities, not the government vs a private individual. I definitely have more faith in civil litigation than in criminal ones where the courts defer too much to the government.

    Very much so. The threshold of evidence needed for a “conviction” in civil is much lower. It’s much easier for a plantiff to show harm.

    So I ask you…what do Radley’s posts on criminals being railroaded by the gov’t have to do with civil litigation between to private entities?

    My faith in the judicial system has been very eroded by criminal miscarriages as well as class action torts. Feel free to continue to believe in a system that needs a serious attitude adjustment.

    Funny how good progressives such as yourself suddenly become law and order types with full faith in the system when the ox being gored is one you can get behind.

    No one is claiming they got railroaded.

    Hmmmm

    Starbucks reacted furiously. Valerie O’Neil, a spokeswoman, described the award as fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason. It was “an extreme example of an abuse of the class-action procedures in California’s courts”. Ms O’Neil also criticised the brevity of the judge’s ruling – it was only four paragraphs long – and said the company would appeal.

    Sounds like it to me.

    Just because Starbucks chose to appeal doesn’t prove railroading.

    Of course not, but it strongly suggests that they didn’t think they were given a fair trial.

    I don’t think its “confirmation bias” to believe that the courts treated both parties fairly in this litigation.

    Of course you don’t.

    The burden of proof is on the person claiming that things were unfair.

    That’s what appeals courts are for.

    There is no reason to suspect Starbuck’s didn’t get a fair trial. Unless there is some evidence (or even a claim by a litigant) that there wasn’t a fair trial, then yeah..i am gonna assume the court got it right. And maybe that’s why it was only 4 paragraphs — because it was a pretty obvious violation of the regulations (I didn’t know that opinions had a minimum length in order to be considered fair/valid)

    Man, that’s some thin gruel of reasoning. Let’s ask a labor attorney:

    “Thursday’s ruling could very well lead to an increase in similar litigation elsewhere, says Elise Bloom, a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Department of Proskauer Rose. Bloom was not involved in the case.

    Bloom thinks Judge Cowett’s decision was wrong. “This very liberal reading of California statue and the definition of who is a manager inappropriately expands the universe of people who can’t share in tips.”

    Bloom cites the court’s failure to recognize the service function of shift supervisors. In her view, shift supervisors significantly enhance the level of service which makes customers much happier and therefore more likely to leave larger tips.”

  177. ebby, I had some sympathy for your position, but this:

    nebby | March 21, 2008, 3:16pm | #

    The reason I ask…..”

    I admit I was being a devil’s advocate there. The law would not apply to her husband because there is not a tip pool in that situation. I just wanted to puncture a bit of that “how dare you suggest anyone but my husband deserves to keep their tips” bullshit she was spouting. Her example wasn’t relevant to the case we were discussing and neither is my reply.

  178. It’s “magic” to you because you “think” this number was just pulled out of someones ass.

    Look! Magic!

    Mr Chou claimed that it was illegal in California for management to share employees’ gratuities and as his case progressed, it emerged that Starbucks supervisors typically claim about $1.71 per hour from the tip pool.

    By multiplying $1.71 by the number of hours worked by supervisors at Starbucks between 2000 and 2008, the court arrived at the award of $86.6 million in back-tips, plus an estimated $19.1 million in interest. Only current and former Starbucks employees in California will be able to claim their share of the compensation.

    So, no actual harm shown, just a Solomonic, simplified calculation of what it *might* be in a perfect world.

    So where was the state labor commission for the past 8 years? You’d think they would have jumped on a juicy violation like this.

  179. I don’t think I would admit that I think averages and multiplication are magic.

    Next I will introduce you to the magical kingdom of percentages!

  180. Piss off nebby. Go back to sniffing egg dye. I don’t think I’d admit much of any of what you’ve said so far.

    It’s obvious from what I’ve read so far, that these “supervisors” or shifts as SB baristas call them, do much of the same work as the baristas; actually these shifts do more than they do.

    This is legitimate business practice colliding with a stale and static law written god knows how long ago. I bet you’re going to be really shocked when I say that a business should be free to run itself as it sees fit, short of fraud or direct harm to their employees.

    You can take issue with whether it’s right for SB to do what they do, but this case was little more than semantics of what a “supervisor” is and a disgruntled piss-ant ex-employee.

  181. The whole expectation of tipping has essentially turned into a form of panhandling.

    How did it get this way?

    Soon, every business will involve some form of tipping. Oh, and God forbid if you don’t allow yourself to get bullied into indulging this cultural shift.

  182. “You can take issue with whether it’s right for SB to do what they do, but this case was little more than semantics of what a “supervisor” is..”

    Do you not realize that is the same question? If Starbucks classifies these employees as supervisors, then the decision is correct. If starbucks does not classify these employees as supervisors when dealing with the regs than the decision was terrible. Starbucks chose the classification, it was not forced on them. Starbucks just wants the benefits of the classification without the responsibilities.

    “I bet you’re going to be really shocked when I say that a business should be free to run itself as it sees fit, short of fraud or direct harm to their employees.”

    That is exactly what I believe. I just have a differing concept of harm than you. I can certainly see both sides of that question on this issue, but as soon as you start in with the all these laws are crazy tripe you are having a different, and quite pointless, conversation.

  183. I just wanted to puncture a bit of that “how dare you suggest anyone but my husband deserves to keep their tips” bullshit she was spouting.

    I never, ever suggested that and you damn well know it. Read what I wrote way back at 2:15.

    If someone hands you a tip, you should get to keep it. That was what I was saying. Particularly in the delivery business, a driver gets tips in direct proportion to the amount of work he or she does (ie. number of deliveries).

    My initial (2:15) comment was a question – ie, does the CA law apply to delivery drivers, a situation in which tip pooling typically does not occur? In the case where tip pooling does not occur, would a shift supervisor who has to make a few delivery runs be forced to hand over the tips she earns on those runs to the remainder of the drivers?

    It was a totally fair question and I NEVER suggested that my husband was some super special snowflake who alone in the world deserves to keep his own tips.

    That mis-characterization of my words proved to me quite positively that, rather than playing devil’s advocate, you’re just acting like a jerk. Pardon my french, but piss off.

    And once again, drawing the line with shift supervisors, who take on some supervisory functions *on top of* regularly full-time barista/make-line/grunt-work/customer service duties, is unfair. They routinely earn only marginally better wages than their near subordinates and contribute just as much, if not more, to creating a positive customer experience. They should have every right to share in collected (pooled) tips, if the *employer* wishes it to be so.

    The government should keep its nose out.

  184. Bronwyn,

    The way you phrased your original post made it seem like you were trying to make a point. If you were honestly wondering with no preconceived notions than no, this does not apply to your husband. I assumed you were being sarcastic because the context made it seem obvious to me that the issue was pooled tips, I apologize if you truly were unaware that this only applies to pooled tips.

    As far as starbucks, they drew the line at who was a supervisor. Your beef is with them.

  185. I cited my husband as a “for example” – although he is a MUS, not a shift sup – and no, I did not know whether the law applied to pooled tips or all tips.

    Apology accepted.

    My beef is with the law, actually, but if you want to argue from the point of “it’s the law so obey it until you can change it” then yeah maybe Starbucks-CA could have reworked the titles in their reporting structure so that shift sups wouldn’t be left out in the tip-jar cold.

    … and with such a spectacular run-on sentence, I’ll leave it at that.

  186. Bronwyn,

    You are being gracious. I will remind myself in the future to not assume the worst about one poster just because I am dealing with other unreasonable poster.

  187. I can certainly see both sides of that question on this issue, but as soon as you start in with the all these laws are crazy tripe you are having a different, and quite pointless, conversation.

    I asked this question before: why is it any of the state’s business to decide who should get tips and who shouldn’t? How is that crazy to ask that? If you don’t like the way the company you work for compensates you, then work to change their minds or hit the fucking road.

    Nah, just get a lawyer instead and pretend to speak for a 100,000 other people. And THAT’s not crazy?

    Why shouldn’t someone who performs the same work, such as waiting on customers, not get tips? Just because the company adds responsibility to their plate and adds “supervisor” to their title? That’s semantic bullshit.

    Starbucks chose the classification, it was not forced on them.

    Please show me where there is a definitive definition of “supervisor” that fits every company exactly the same in every way.

  188. I do not have the section number but there is a provision in the california code that states how supervisory responsibilities are determined. Starbucks uses that definition with no problem to avoid overtime and many other regulations. They just thought they could get away with later disowning their own determination.

    As far as the gubbmint shouldn’t be involved at all, I already read the argument that there should be no law concerning driving on the right and I have little stomach for further exigesis of that line of thought.

  189. Does anyone on here just not like coffee?

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