A new court ruling on gratuities at Starbucks underscores the uncertainty that the worker you intend to tip by putting cash into a jar will get to see much of that money.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Starbucks baristas must share the tips collected in plastic containers at the register with shift supervisors. But the court also ruled that assistant store managers aren't eligible for a cut.
The dispute focused on two complaints from different sets of Starbucks employees over who should be able to participate in the tip pool. Currently, the chain splits tips among baristas and shift managers. Managers and assistant managers are not permitted to participate.
During court arguments in May, lawyers for the baristas said the shift supervisors shouldn't be eligible, because they earn a higher hourly wage and perform some managerial duties. In a separate complaint, lawyers for several former assistant store managers argued that they should be eligible, because they often serve customers.
Starbucks had argued that shift supervisors' main duty is still food and drink service, and should be able to partake of the tips but that assistant managers had too much managerial responsibility to be included.