Starbucks employees in New York City have filed an additional 14 complaints accusing the coffee giant of violating the city’s labor laws. The Fair Workweek law in New York mandates regular schedules, 14 days notice of scheduled hours, and extra pay for shift changes. This marks one of approximately 70 complaints filed by Starbucks baristas since February, claiming the company’s non-compliance with the law.
The surge in allegations coincides with Starbucks baristas at over 200 locations nationwide going on strike on the company’s busy Red Cup promotion day. The strike, organized by Starbucks Workers United, protests understaffing, particularly on promotional days, and calls for the discontinuation of mobile ordering on such occasions.
While Starbucks has emphasized efforts to improve worker conditions by automating tasks and raising pay, the ongoing labor disputes highlight concerns over understaffing and adherence to labor laws. The company has faced challenges in New York City before, with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection suing the company in 2022 for allegedly violating labor laws by firing a barista involved in union organizing.
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If the recent allegations are substantiated, Starbucks may face significant penalties, akin to Chipotle’s $20 million settlement last year for Fair Workweek violations. Baristas express frustration, asserting that Starbucks’ non-compliance with labor laws undermines the intent of the Fair Work Week law, making it challenging for workers to sustain themselves and their families.