Starbucks must pay workers for off-the-clock tasks, says Supreme Court

A landmark court ruling in a wage theft case against Starbucks could signal changes for employers throughout California. Starbucks can no longer avoid paying employees for time spent on performing tasks outside their regular work hours.

Former shift supervisor Douglas Troester filed a class action lawsuit against Starbucks in 2012. Troester said he and other employees were often required to set the store alarm, put away chairs, lock the door and complete other similar tasks after clocking out each day. He spent up to 10 minutes on the tasks each day, which added up to nearly 13 hours of unpaid work during his 17 months at Starbucks. The lawsuit claimed Troester missed out on more than $100 of pay during that time.

In 2014, a federal judge ruled in favor of Starbucks. The case was dismissed based on a federal wage law that says employers are not required to pay employees for working extra minutes beyond their regular daily hours as the time would be difficult to record. The California Supreme Court took on the case after Troester appealed. The court decided that the federal standard did not apply under California labor laws.

Under state law, employees should be paid for any time they spend on tasks at their workplace outside their normally scheduled hours. “$100 is enough to pay a utility bill, buy a week of groceries or cover a month of bus fares,” Justice Goodwin Liu wrote, adding that the so-called nominal amounts of money hold value for “many ordinary people who work for hourly wages.”

The ruling applies to thousands of current and former Starbucks workers throughout the state. It could also force many California companies to change their employment practices, particularly restaurants and retailers that employ hourly workers. Failure to do so could result in more wage theft lawsuits.

Read more

wrongful termination attorney

Cheesecake Factory sued for firing worker in retaliation for discrimination complaint

A former Cheesecake Factory employee filed a wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the popular restaurant chain. She was allegedly fired in retaliation for complaining about a…

READ ARTICLE
disability discrimination lawyer

LAPD officer wins $1 million in disability discrimination lawsuit

Just because an employee has a disability does not mean they must stop working. Under the law, employees with disabilities have a right to keep their jobs and seek damages against employers…

READ ARTICLE
wage violation lawyer

Sushi restaurant ordered to pay almost $30,000 in back wages to cooks

Employers looking to cut corners may sometimes think they can get away with not paying employees all the wages they have earned. Not only does such behavior result in employees missing out…

READ ARTICLE
wage theft lawyer

Senior care facility fined for wage theft after state investigation

Employees in certain industries are required to work overtime or be on call. Under California law, they must be paid for all time spent working beyond their regular hours. Employers are also…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10