WHEN CUSTOMERS drop change in a coffee shop’s tip jar, they expect the money will go to the employees who made their latte or served their doughnut. But recent court decisions have led to some of those employees being unfairly deprived — a problem the Legislature should fix by passing a proposed adjustment to the state law governing gratuities.
Right now, the law says that managers can’t take a cut of the tip jar. That’s a sensible rule to protect employees. The problem is that the law doesn’t spell out exactly who counts as a manager, and courts have interpreted the category broadly, ruling recently that shift supervisors at Starbucks could not share in tips.