A class-action lawsuit was recently filed against Starbucks by a San Jose-based law firm specializing in employment law.
The class-action suit alleges that the popular coffeehouse "systematically failed to record and pay [Barista's] for minimum wages, wages for all hours worked and overtime wages." The last failure is in direct violation of the state's overtime laws.
The lawsuit specifically mentions the company's failure to pay Barista's for their compensable training time, during which they reviewed and memorized menus and preparation materials. By law, employers must compensate their employees for any time worked past eight hours in a single workday or 40 hours in a workweek. Furthermore, companies must pay hourly employees for all mandatory training time. In addition, if employees are required to take a quiz off the clock, the company must still pay them for the amount of time it takes them to finish the quiz or other training activity.
The case highlights the importance for companies to follow fair and legal business practices and employment processes. Starbucks is one of several large companies being accused of such practices, which include Walmart and PR-firm Rogers & Cowan. Using legal practices can avoid expensive lawsuits involving professional liability.