On May 28, 2013, New York’s highest state court, the New York Court of Appeals, will hear oral argument regarding the scope and application of New York Labor Law 196-d and its tip splitting provisions to Starbucks’ tip pooling practices. The court’s analysis of these issues, which came to the court as certified questions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, is expected to have industry-wide implications, including guidance regarding what standard applies in determining who is eligible to participate in a tip pool and whether, and to what extent, an employer may exclude otherwise eligible employees from participating in a tip pool.  As part of its deliberations, the Court will consider an amicus brief submitted on behalf of the New York State Restaurant Association by Jackson Lewis. A decision by the Court will hopefully provide clarity in this area of the law, as lingering uncertainty has served as a breeding ground for litigation.