We’ve all been there: You pull up to a parking spot, hop out to check whether the meter requires payment on Sunday and then grumble as you fish around in the coin tray. With any luck, you find a quarter or two. More often than not, however, you’re stuck with nickels and the nigh-useless penny. (Of course, the ensuing profanity of finding only 23 cents in your car will soon be a lost art, as most new parking meters accept credit cards or mobile payments.)
Many of us fill that coin tray with the loose change resulting from a purchase at Starbucks, and now a recent California Supreme Court ruling has ensured that California-based employees receive a little more of that earned loose change going forward. In Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 2018 WL 3582702 (Cal. Sup. Ct. July 26, 2018), plaintiff Douglas Troester was a shift supervisor at Starbucks. He filed the initial action in August 2012 on behalf of himself and others in a putative class of all nonmanagerial California employees who performed store closing tasks from mid-2009 through October 2010. Specifically, Troester claimed that on every closing shift, Starbucks’ computer software required him to clock out before initiating the software’s “close store procedure” on a separate computer terminal in the back office. After he completed that task, he activated the alarm, exited the store, locked the front door and walked his co-workers to their cars, in compliance with Starbucks’ policy. All of this, he alleged, happened off the clock.