If it’s so small then don’t do it, employees


Then we’ll see what these companies really think of “de minimis.”

From Bloomberg last week:

Starbucks Corp. has a message for workers suing over tiny amounts of unpaid labor: Forget about it.

The world’s largest coffeehouse chain has been fighting for six years with a shift supervisor from one of its Burbank, California, stores over his demand to be compensated for the extra time it took to turn off the lights, activate the alarm and lock up after he clocked off for the night.

The case is before the state’s highest court Tuesday to draw a line on when the stakes in a dispute are so small that it’s not worth the fight. A loss for Starbucks could expose it and thousands of other employers to class-action lawsuits accusing them of cheating workers out of wages.

Backed by state and national business groups, Starbucks is relying on the maxim that “the law cares not for trifles” — the basis of a rule courts use to filter out claims that are too minute to consider.

“There could be innumerable lawsuits over a few seconds of time,” Starbucks said in a court filing last year. “The ‘de minimis’ rule is one of common sense and everyday practicality.”


It also works both ways. If it’s no big deal then it’s no big deal.

A few seconds of time perhaps for Starbucks, but it’s also a big responsibility that he could be easily fired for if he screws up. So they have to pay him.

Or else he doesn’t have to do it. And shouldn’t. That “four minutes” a day ( not seconds) also adds up fast. To Starbucks’ benefit.




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