Service of How Does a Company with Nasty Rules Attract Employees?

December 30th, 2019

Categories: Employees, Restaurant, Restrictions, Rules, Sick Leave, Staffing


The US unemployment rate is at 3.6 percent. If it truly reflects the numbers of unemployed then workers can afford to be choosey especially in a place like New York City that is crowded with low pay opportunities.

Jonathan Stempel’s article, “Starbucks settles New York probe into illegal sick leave policy,” opened my eyes to another nasty practice of some employers. The Reuters reporter wrote: “Starbucks Corp agreed on Thursday to pay restitution and accept greater oversight to settle a multi-year probe finding that it had illegally required New York City employees to find substitutes when they needed to use sick leave. ” The amount: $176,000.

Officials said Starbucks violated New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act from April 2014 to February 2016 by requiring employees to find replacements before using sick leave, or else face possible discipline including termination. [In the third quarter of 2014 the economy grew at a record pace.]

Who came up with this punishing concept? Picture you sick at home with the flu. You can barely call in sick much less call around to find someone to take your place.

In addition to continuing to deep six the mean sick leave practice, Starbucks must also clearly explain its policy to its more than 8,000 New York City employees, and detail its compliance within six months to regulators, Stempel reported.

In January 2018, Starbucks adopted a nationwide policy granting employees one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. That equates to roughly seven or eight days a year for a full-time employee.

Have you heard of over-the-top employment practices? Do you think this one came about because the company felt that too many employees called in sick simply because they didn’t feel like working and it wanted to discourage the practice?



2 Responses to “Service of How Does a Company with Nasty Rules Attract Employees?”

  1. Martha Takayama Said:

    I have never heard of such a reprehensible and seemingly impractical policy. It sounds like some sort of medieval indentured servitude. It seems startling to me that the revelation of such a policy resulted in a tiny financial burden and such little outrage both from the labor departments and the public.

    I have never been impressed by or a fan of this pretentious overpriced chain with its corporate posturing about social responsibility. My strongest impression is of being served a lemon square blue with mold in a Starbucks on Boston’s busy, tony Newbury Street. I generally avoid it and now will certainly not patronize it.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’m with you. I’ve been forced to go when a client wants to meet there otherwise I have always avoided it because, as I’ve written several times in this blog, of a policy the overpriced coffee shop has: It makes those who take milk put in their own milk. Service wise: BOOOO. If your hands are full as mine usually are to put down hand and tote bags to open the coffee cup, find the fat free milk and replace the top after adding milk is an insult. In addition I find the pretentious names for various coffee sizes irritating. Clearly I’m in the minority.

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