Category Archives: Good Businesses

In Praise of Starbucks

Sir James MacKintosh, an 18th century philosopher opined: “The powers of a man’s mind are directly proportional to the quantity of coffee he drank.”  If that is true, it seems Starbucks is doing its part to improve many Americans’ minds.

Starbucks is apparently taking an interest in improving America’s economy also: America’s Future Depends on Jobs.

I like Starbucks- but not because of their coffee, which I find too strong.  I like Starbucks because it is a company that provides its workers with health insurance, and does not financially harm them through wage and hour law violations.   Starbucks is a company with a moral compass, and a profit motive – the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.  Finally, the rumor about Starbucks snubbing Marines is false.

A foolish class action lawsuit against Starbucks was filed in Massachusetts: Hernan Matamoros v. Starbucks Corporation, Case No. 12-1277, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit. The issue in the case is whether management is entitled to share in Barista’s pooled tips.  The employees suing Starbucks were Baristas who became managers, and once they were managers they decided Starbucks’s policy of allowing only Barista’s to share tips was unfair. It seems like a no-brainer to me; Baristas’ tips should go to  Baristas (not management).  That’s how Starbucks upper management wanted it. The policy at issue correctly applies the tips law in Massachusetts, because the law says that  management is not entitled to share in waitstaffs’ pooled tips.


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