Mims V Starbucks Case

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LAW 150
Mims v. Starbucks Corp.
Fact:
* Kevin Keevican, Kathleen Mims, and other former managers filed a suit against Starbucks seeking unpaid overtime and other amounts. * In Starbucks Corp. Stores the manager’s responsibilities include supervising and motivating six to thirty employees including supervisors and assistant managers, overseeing customer service and processes employee records, payrolls, and inventory counts. * He or she also develops strategies to increase revenues, control costs, and comply with corporate policies. * As a manager Kevin worked seventy hours a week for $650 to $800, a 10 to 20 percent bonus, and fringe benefits that were not available to baristas, such as paid sick leave. * An employee’s primary duty is usually what the employee does that is of principal value to the employer, not the collateral tasks that she may also perform, even if they consume more than half their time. * The Plaintiffs argued that they spent less than 50 percent of their time on managing and therefore they should be entitled to unpaid overtime and other amounts. Issue:Are the managers non-exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions? Decision: NO

Rationale:
The court began by stating the even when an employee spends less than 50% of his time on management, as the plaintiffs claim they did, management might still be the employee’s primary duty if certain factors support that conclusion. The factors were 1) the relative importance of managerial duties compared to other duties; 2) the frequency with which the employee makes discretionary decisions; 3) the employee’s relative freedom from supervision; and 4) the relationship between the employee’s salary and the wages paid to employees who perform relevant non-exempt work.

The record showed that the managerial duties were more critical to success than other duties. The reasoning behind this was that if the managers of stores that made more than $1 million annually in sales were...
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