In a summary order, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of employee claims that Starbucks Corp. violated New York law by allowing shift supervisors to share store tip pools with baristas. Barenboim v. Starbucks Corp., No. 10-4912 (2d Cir., decided November 21, 2013). Details about the New York Court of Appeals ruling on which the Second Circuit relied appear in Issue 489 of this Update.
The New York court rejected the baristas’ claims that state law barred "any employee with ‘even the slightest degree of supervisory responsibility’ from sharing tips." Because it was "undisputed that Starbucks’s shift supervisors spend a majority of their time performing the same duties as baristas, and are primarily responsible for serving food and beverages to customers," the Second Circuit found "no genuine dispute of material fact as to whether § 196-d permits shift supervisors to participate in Starbucks’s tip pools."