Tip Jars At Starbucks

05.28.13 | Abby Lutcher

The Court of Appeals was asked by a federal court to interpret New York's labor law and its definition of an employer's "agent," who is prohibited from tip sharing. On one side are low-level baristas who serve customers and share tips weekly based on hours worked. On the other side are assistant managers who don't get any gratuities and want some. In between are shift supervisors with limited management responsibilities who serve customers and also share tips.At issue is the New York definition of a company "agent" who by law must keep his or her hands out of the tip jar. Hospitality industry groups say the state court decision will be felt far beyond Starbucks and affect 42,000 New York businesses statewide and a quarter-million hospitality industry workers in New York City alone.