Plaintiff Jacob Davis brought a putative class action against International Coffee and Tea, LLC (the company that operates Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) alleging that the company’s tip pooling policy violated California’s Labor Code section 351.  The trial court sustained Coffee Bean’s demurrer to plaintiff’s second amended complaint without leave to amend.  Plaintiff appealed the

In a huge development in the last couple of weeks, a change in federal law now permits California employers to include back of the house employees in tip pools.  This week’s post is an update and a general discussion about issues facing restaurants, hotels, and other industries where tipping and gratuities are left for

Today’s Friday’s Five provides a few points for employers to consider who have employees that receive gratuities. California law is very specific regarding gratuities left for employees, and since tips are property of the employee, employers must approach this area with caution. Here are five “tips” about tips in California.

1. Tips are employee’s property.

The $86 million trial award against Starbucks for violation of California Labor Code provisions on tips was overturned by a California appellate court (Chau v. Starbucks). The case was initiated by Jou Chau who was a former Starbucks barista. He brought a class action against Starbucks alleging that the company’s policy permitting shift supervisors

California restaurateurs received a huge victory from the Second District appellate court’s ruling in Budrow v. Dave & Buster’s Of California, Inc. The lawsuit against Dave & Buster’s alleged that its tip pool policy violated California law in that it required employees to tip out bartenders who did not provide "direct table service." The

 Another California Court of appeal ruled on the issue of tip-pooling in California. In Etheridge v. Reins International California, Inc., the court held that employees who do not provide “direct table service” may participate in tip-pools mandated by employers. (This holding confirms another recent appellate court’s ruling in Budrow v. Dave & Buster’s Of California,

California law treats “tips” (defined as any discretionary gratuity left by a customer for a server) as a strange kind of compensation — which may belong to the employee who initially received the tip, other employees involved or, for certain purposes, even the employer itself. Given the confused property rights involved, businesses are often unsure