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Court Orders Starbucks to Pay One Million Dollars

In a file phnoto customers wait for their orders inside a Starbuck's coffee house Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005, in Alameda, Calif.  A Superior Court judge on Thursday, March 20, 2008,  ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot/file)

A few weeks ago, here on this site, we got to talking about tipping–and during that conversation someone brought up the subject of dropping tips into containers in such places as Starbucks, where, beyond the preparation of the product, little service is given. Well, it seems Starbucks has got themselves into a bit of a bind–at least in one court in California–for the tips have not been going to the barristas, but management has been giving the tips to supervisors. And that appears to be illegal.

SAN DIEGO — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction that prevents Starbucks’ shift supervisors from sharing in future tips, saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities.

All the details are here and here.

Although I tip well in a restaurant or a hotel, I don’t usually leave a tip in this kind of place, for I don’t feel I am being served–I pick up my own coffee, take it to the table, clean up and so on. I really never considered that the barristas had to count on tips to earn a fair wage. I think I resent that, for these drinks are already pricey to begin with, and I believe Starbucks and other such companies should pay their workers an adequate wage. Someone is making lots of money.

Well, because of this ruling Starbuck’s barristas will get some money back, but by the time the attorneys get their fees for this class-action suit, there will be little left.

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My devotional blog is here.

 
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Truly This is Called Friendship

In my ladies Bible study here at DJs yesterday, I taught a lesson on friendship, using pertinent scriptures and some of my life experiences to press home the lesson. At that time I didn’t have such a good example as I found when reading on the internet this morning. The following story is exceptional: a Starbuck’s clerk will be donating a kidney to one of her regular customers.

TACOMA, Wash. — Annamarie Ausnes is known for holding up the line at her favorite Starbucks here, carefully counting out her coins to pay for her “short drip, double-cupped” daily jolt. Over the years, Sandie Andersen, a friendly barista behind the counter, might have rolled her eyes once or twice but she has also taken these morning moments to make conversation, to make friends.

Stuart Isett for The New York Times

Annamarie Ausnes, left, will receive a kidney from Sandie Andersen, who works at the Starbucks coffee shop that Ms. Ausnes frequents.

Grandchildren? A favorite topic. That tan Ms. Ausnes brought in one day? A vacation souvenir. And then there was the small talk that day last fall.

“She reached over the counter and said, ‘I’m a blood match,’ ” Ms. Ausnes said last week, recalling the conversation.

Ms. Andersen said, “We both stood there and bawled.”

The complete New York Times story is here.

I have great admiration for people such as Sandie Anderson who truly has a heart full of love, and whose generosity and true caring extends far beyond that of many people. I wish success in the surgeries and long life for both Sandie and Annamarie.

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My devotional blog is here.