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January 08, 2006


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If you the assistant managers can't get the work done in the alotted time (40hrs a week) then maybe they weren't prepared to take on the responsibility in the first place.


True, Shannon, but the real idiots here are their managers, who shouldn't heave ever worked them more than 40 hours. It's strictly forbidden here in my region.


I totally agree. I had an ASM who was never able to manage her time properly. It was obvious that she was in over her hear. I gave her the option to step down to shift supervisor again and she took it.
Personally, I think that managers punching in is bullshit. I am a salaried employee and feel that I should be treated as such.


Yet another sign of the depths of entitlism we Americans are sinking to. I've never been in a retail or food service market where a salaried employee ended up working less than a 60 hour work week. Starbucks managers in comparison to alot of their peers in other branches of the service industry have a really easy ride.
One of the positives of being salaried is that your time is far more flexible than the punch clock hourlies. The price you pay is your work isn't done at 40 hours, it's done when you finish it.
Unfortunately a minority of managers have a "gimme" state of mind and will screw it up for the rest.


Oh yeah, it's much better to get paid less, in the end, than those with an hourly wage. Heck, these salaried employees should be lining up to work 80 hrs a week...


I"m holding off an opinion on this right now. If this ASM was really told to work off the clock, I would side with him. Something about that just doesn't sit well with me though. I've never heard of a DM of SM telling someone to work off the clock. That is in direct violation of our policy. I have written people up for working off the clock. We believe that time work equals time paid. If someone forced him to work off the clock, they should be fired. I do not believe that this is a company wide issue though...I guess we'll see.

Claude Muncey

DEUSX, I suggest you read the story linked to, or pehaps read it more closely. Starbucks reclassified ASM's as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act a couple of years ago. That means that it doesn't matter if you call the position "salaried", the person is entitled to overtime, and you have to keep track of their time, as a matter of federal law. And the laws in some states are even tougher. Asking or expecting someone to work "off the clock" is not uncommon in service industries, but it is unfair and illegal.

And sticking the title "manager" on a position is no defense at law. Any employee who spends more than 40% of their time on non-managerial or non-supervisory tasks is quite likely to have their position ruled as non-exempt by the courts. There is nothing new or arcane about it. Employers abusing labor law isn't new either.

Boston Starbucks Rebel

I know many ASM's in my area who work alot more than just their 40 hours. Yes, I know there is alot of time management. However, I believe a properly staffed store should be capable of getting ASM's to do all their tasks like orders and schedules. If you think about it, the management is probably not doing the correct job in hiring enough people. Most ASM's I know work at least 60 hours a week and get paid for only 40. Not to mention most of them are not treated with respect and not recognize for their meaningul contributions.


Again. It's called noncoverage, people. "Most" ASM's in Boston work more than 40 hours? That's truly unfortunate. In my region we get fired in an instant for time theft. Your PR department needs an overhaul.


I have a good manager now but my old manager slacked off and would leave early but make the assitant manager do pretty much everything. the problem is they have a whole printout of labor and it shows if the store is slow howmany people are thiere now if the managers are over labor they dont get thier bonus so they try to cut labor make the asm be out on the floor during busy times and slow times but then the asm does not have time to get thier manager dutys done.
On a side note can a D.M. tell an ASM that they cant step down to say a shift postion or even a barista they have to quit or just keep working as an asm.9even if the reason to step down is because they want to start going to college.


Technically speaking, the ASM doesn't really have any managerial tasks. I hate to say it, but they really are just glorified shift supervisors. They may edit punches and funnel communication from time to time, but their job descriptions hardly differ.


The ASM spot is supposed to be a temporary position. 12 months at the outside, and then they become store managers after another interview and performance review.
During that time, the ASM is required to learn how to be a SM (ie: ordering, setting pars,interviewing, partner reviews, scheduling, admin, store growth, community involvment, partner growth) , because at the end of their training, they are expected to be able to walk into a store and fall into the roll.
The ASMs are not supposed to be working more than 40 hours unless allowed by the DM on a case by case basis. Any unpaid overtime is time-theft. If they are in the store doing work off the clock, its the cash controllers responsibility to have a conversation with the ASM telling them its not allowed. It then goes to the SM. If its still allowed, whoevers shift this illegal activity is happening on should write a mission review card, which goes to the RDO, or a call to corporate compliance informing them of the time theft, and the measures they have taken to correct the infraction before this last step was taken.
Anyone allowing time theft in the store could be held accountable in a worst case scenario, so make sure you cover your behinds, shiftys!

OK....So I know that working off the clock is not allowed and that time worked is supposed to equal time paid. But can someone explain to me the use of the term "time theft" to describe that situation? Because I just don't get it. Time theft, as I understand it, is getting paid for MORE hours than you worked, not less. Doing work and not getting paid for it is more like volunteering than stealing, no?

Anyhow...this case is of particular interest to me because I feel like it's very relevant to my store's situation. ASMs and shift managers alike are written up for clocking overtime hours. Period. But at the same time, the store is seriously and chronically understaffed and it's our jobs to pick up the slack and make sure things still run smoothly. If things don't get done or corners get cut, we get written up for that too. We're stuck between a rock and a hard place. In order to make sure everything gets done AND we don't ever go into overtime, many of us have been known to work through our (unpaid) lunches, continue to finish a project after clocking out, or come in a few hours before clocking in to get some of the off-the-floor stuff done.

Is it wrong? Of course. But when every alternative results in you getting in trouble, what other choice is there?



Claude I suggest you know more about the history of why things occur before commenting. Starbucks reclassified Asst Mngrs BECAUSE a few sued because they felt entitled to overtime. Which is the gist of my commentary. I do read, thanks, obviously far more than you.
Alot of employees (in any business) have issues because they don't take things through the necessary channels. I find it hard to believe that human resources and compliance just sits back and ignores people who are complaining about being forced to work off the clock in one area of the country. Yet rears up and lays down the smack on abusive management in other areas? I've had issues with DM's and I've went through the proper channels with honest complaints and they were solved. I somehow doubt that Human resources treated me like a special case.


There are things in my store done with stunning inefficiency. There is no reason for the busser to empty the near-empty garbage cans repeatedly when he could be stocking the shelves. Or for three people to stand at the till taking orders when we have few customers.

Of course, if the manager is not supervising properly to eradicate these inefficiences, the problem cascades down. I am often chided for trying to multitask, and am told "don't do that." And then we leave late because it wasn't done earlier.

Coffee Master

I'm not a salaried partner, neither am I an ASM. Heck, I'm not even a SSQ (Qualified Supervisor), I'm still an SST (Superisor in training). I'm currently contracted for 24 hours a week, but I get rotared on for at least 35. But I work outside of this, as it's not always possible to do things in shift times due to other parties.

Take this week for exmple - tuesday I stayed for 2 hours after my shift as one of our suppliers had messed up and I had to work through the problem with them. It still wasn't resolved at the end of their working day, so I went in on wednesday (my day off) to finish sorting it, and to do some paperwork related to my Coffee Master duties. Today I worked my 8 hour shift, got home at 4 and have been on the pc since doing more stuff for work. That's how I found this website - through doing some research to help further educate my partners and customers. Is this time theft? This is stuff I'm doing on my own initiative, in my own time - no-one's asked me to do it. Fortunately for me, I enjoy it (doing some research makes me feel like I'm still a student, but without the pressure!).

Oh...and for anyone who thinks working a bit over is a crime, get this...I'm also on call 24 hours a day for the less experienced Coffee Masters in my area to contact me for help if they need it. I'm not the District Coffee Master, but I offered to help my colleagues out. The youth groups I run have the same 24 hour access in case they need advice, so why not those I work with? At my store we are more than just a bunch of partners. We're even considered to be more like a family than just a team, so we all go out of our way to help each other. I'm glad for the support I get from my partners, and gladly give it back, even if it means working a bit more than I'm getting paid for...it makes everyone's lives that bit easier!


Coffee master makes an excellent point -- there is a difference between stuff you must do because it's your job, and stuff you want to do anyway.
In my store, we are anything but a family. There are many people who are fine and basically cooperative; there are others who are annoying and difficult. I go out of my way to avoid them.


Again I must disagree with you. Your comments:

"Yet another sign of the depths of entitlism we Americans are sinking to. I've never been in a retail or food service market where a salaried employee ended up working less than a 60 hour work week. Starbucks managers in comparison to alot of their peers in other branches of the service industry have a really easy ride."

Well I have worked for other companies where salaried managers work 60+ hours a week and I have worked for SBUX where a 40(ish) hour work week is the norm. So do you think for a minute that those employees working 60 hours a week are treated fairly? Can you say : Being taking advantage of! Just because you are salaried does not mean you should be forced to work an insane amount of hours. We are not talking lawyers or doctors here, we are talking managers in the service industry.
Many companies completely take advantage of their managers. Folks who say that it is a time-managemnet problem, probably have never been in that position. Sometimes it is a time-managemnet problem. Most of time, it is a combination of a lazy manager who delegates everything or a store that is short-staffed, so the ASM must work on the floor alot, and does not have time to complete their managerial responsibilties.
If they were told to work off-the-clock, then shame on them! They know better than to do that. All ASM's are trained about labor laws and off-the-clock violations. They should have known by working off the clock they were breaking the law. If their managers told them to take money out of the register, would they?


An ASL has not managerial responsibilities. They are basically shift supervisors who can edit punches. I did my 6 months as an ASM, so don't try telling me that I don't understand.
I don't undersand why anyone would allow themselves to be worked over forty hours a week and not be paid for it. This is especially troubling because it is so unnecessary. All it would take to fix this is to call your DM, PRM, PCC, or the compliance hotline.


Let me add that not only is entitlism a problem but the expectation someone else is responsible for your life. No one is forced to work. No one is forced into working at a certain spot. Any manager that works 60 hours a week obviously feels that what he gets paid is worth it. When you are hired at most restaraunts as a manger, it is explained fairly clearly that the work week is longer than 40 hours. No one makes you take the job.If they don't think its fair but take the job, they have no one to blame but themselves. I have worked as a retail manager, a restaraunt manager and as a Starbucks manager. Let me tell you going from being the GM of a restaurant with a retail area to running a Starbucks IS a vacation. Less hours, less facets to deal with, better work conditions and far less stress.
It is not necessary for management except in extreme circumstances to work more than 40-45 hours a week if they are running their store efficiently...yknow, what they are paid to do.
This sort of tripe comes to us from the same people (IWW) who think that workers should come together and vote for how their manager is.


Wow, I should really proof-read my posts. Kinda hard to believe that I was an english major...

Anyway, Deusx is right.

Coffee Master

@ -M:

I have to disagree with you that ASM's are "basically shift supervisor's who can edit punches". I'm a supervisor in training (2 weeks til my assessment) and I have the authority to edit punches etc...maybe it works differently in the US (assuming that's where you are).

As my SM pointed out to my ASM today, if the SM is not instore, the ASM is effectively the manager...complete with those responsibilites. My ASM is responsible for our weekly orders...surely a managerial role. Even I take some of the workload (willingly) by helping out with paperwork. So all in all, I have to disagree.

ASM's and SS roles are not much different. The SS can and is supposed to do everything that the ASM is supposed with the exception of anything pay related. Punch edits and payroll processing. The other difference is that it is the ASM's fault more often because they should be the more responsible party.


Coffee Master,

You are NOT allowed to edit punches, regardless of what your manager says. It's a very basic PR rule.

Yeah well i have seen my fare share of ASMs editing punches. For money purposes


Correct. Only salaried partners can access the two ALS programs we use for payroll and scheduling. Also, hourly partners are not to be given access to e-mail. The reason SSs can't access these toold is because they contain confidential information and can be used for time theft.


you are wrong again.

there are even passwords for the SS for both T/A and ALS.

Shifts also have access to email.

Coffee Master

Well, according to my manager I am allowed to edit punches. Shift supervisors are expected to carry out T&A as part of their opening duties, and as I open 3/4 days out of my 5/6 day week, that's one of my main responsibilites. My SM checks it when processing her monday morning figures, but other than that it's down to whoever opens.

Another ASM told me recently that our DM quizzed her recently as to why her SSQ's didn't know how to do payroll...now that to me is a ASM/SM duty, but he obviously believes otherwise!

@ -M:
I also have access to email. I think I'm the only one aside from my SM that checks it regularly, and that's because I use it as SCM...I need to communicate quite often with other SCMs and my DCM...they're not always instore at the same time as I am, and leaving messages with partners is not very reliable!


Yeah, like I said, your SM is wrong, and now so is your DM. Sorry for ya.


you know somehow i think the buck is imploding ...no one seems to know the "rules"....no one seems to know tat calling the "hotline" is just like calling your HR person..and or your DM ......why does tribal knowledge rein supreme?.....use your job descriptions and follow them .....pay attention to the one thing that truly matters and that is YOU AND YOUR REAL FAMILY as in the end it is all you have........

MGR is basically right... I just got done with a Partner Resources refresher course held at the SSC (thats Starbucks Support Center located in Seattle). Straight from the horse's mouth (actually the head of HR's mouth) ASM and SM should be the only ones editing punches except in remote markets when the SM is unable to (Like they are on vacation and there isn't a SM or ASM in the district that can). In this case the DM would authorize a high-performing SS to edit punches. That is why there is a SS password in ALS and T&A. As for e-mail: a Supervisor logging on to the Portal using the SS log-in screen doesn't have access to e-mail. Its obvious that it is not something that SS are allowed to access. If "Coffee Master" is reading e-mail its probably because s/he is logging in using another log-in name. Just because your manager says its ok doesn't mean it is.

I've used the SS password and accessed email from it.

Coffee Master

I will have to ask my DM about punches when I do my final assessment then...but as for email, signing in with my own username and password onto the MWS allows me to access the emails no problem...I can't remember if I could or not as a barista, but since moving up to SST I can access most programes.

what country are you in?
maybe that would account for the differences...
in both canada and US, shifts are not allowed to have access to email or any pay related areas, such as ALS & TA...

i was just wishing my own ASM worked more than 40 hours a week! maybe my store would funtion better, and i could work less! tee hee.
just kidding

In both US and canada shifts have access to email, ALS and T&A. They are not allowed to do edits of course but email is not confidential in the company.


Have enough people explained policy to you yet? Any manager, or DM, who allows an SS to edit punches, access e-mail (not just the portal), or access ALS should be terminated. These are the same people who are allowing their ASM to work off the clock. Look, the rules are very clear. If you don't understand them, use your resources. As an SS, you should stick to the duties laid out in your job description and success profile. Leave management duties to the people qualified to perform them.

Hey -m. Figure it out before you type. you are wrong again.

try logging into the portal using and SS password. try logging into ALS using an SS password. YOU CAN. If it was against policy don't ya think they couldn't do it. I'm not sure if the SS can actually edit punches but if they did it would be pretty obvious in the Edit log.


Just because there is a password for it does not mean you are allowed to use it. Read the RMT modules that relate to this or find a more interesting policy to debate. Perhaps one more in a gray area instead of clearly black and white.


When I went through SS training, there was a section in the training book about checking e mail. We even had to send a message to our DM telling her how training was going, just so she knew that we knew how to use the e mail. We had to do the same with the woicemail.

I checked the RMT manuals and they talk about Shifts sending emails. Yet again another bit of incorrect information on this site pops up by a so called manager.


Okay, I'm going to qoute the ops manual for all you shift supervisors who are under the impression that you are allowed to use e-mail.

" Because e-mail is used for confidential information (such as EPAN), non-management partners may not have access." - Store Operations Manual, Chapter 3.5.

Is this clear enough? When you log into the protal as an SS the system does not give you an e-mail tab. The only way you would be able to access this is if you are logging on with an ASM or SM password. This is fact.
Shift Supervisors (in the US) are never to be given passwords to access ALS and T&A. Any manager who has respect for the privacy and security of thier partners would never allow SSs to access this type of info. This has been policy for as long as I have been with the company.
Look, the rules are right there in your back room. Stop making shit up and do the job you are being paid to do.

Wow in the back room I type in a SS password and I get email. It even talks about SS using email in the most recent RMT training manuals.

wow in the back room I type in a SS ALS password and I can access it to get things like DCR.

wowo in the back room I type in a SS T&A password and I can get stuff for tips.

I find it interesting that you are wrong a lot -m


Okay no name, I'm gettin' a little tired of calling you on all of your bullshit. Next time you are at work, take a look in the BOH ops manuel and find out how wrong you are. You're pretty lucky that your store is run so poorly. Any good manager would have you terminated for accessing any of the a-fore mentioned data.

"Wow in the back room I type in a SS password and I get email."
Absolutely wrong. Any SS reading this can tell you so. Only the SM and ASM passwords will access e-mail.

"wow in the back room I type in a SS ALS password and I can access it to get things like DCR."
Just because the codes are available doesn't mean you are allowed to use them. You are only able to access this with your DMs permission, and only in extreme circumstances.

"wowo in the back room I type in a SS T&A password and I can get stuff for tips."
Same as above. Plus, it is not your responsibility to print the Hourly Time Sheat. Why is your SM not doing this for you?

"I find it interesting that you are wrong a lot -m"

Just as I find it fascinating that you still have a job.


I know many people, ASMs, who work overtime for Starbucks who don't get paid for it not because their manager asks them to stay and work off the clock but because they choose too. They run and get product and things of this nature and never log the time in the MWS/TA. Although this is their choice, Legally starbucks is still required to pay them for the time. How? you ask if they never report it. Good question. They are reporting it. In the form of a lawsuit. Starbucks should just pay them for their time and be done w/ it. STORE MANAGERS in california are now salary but still gain overtime for more than 40 hours a week. Soon the WHOLE country will be under these type of management work rules in respect to Starbucks.


What seems more likely is that there will be less ASMs and more shift supervisors. Personally, I think that ASMs should either be full salary or full hourly. Too much grey area the way things are now.


yet again you are wrong.

they just lowered the weekly sales threshhold at which stores get ASM's. the company wants to get more ASM's so they have a much better bench.


Wrong about what? I am of the opinion that we will have less ASMs in the future.

they have just committed to putting more ASM's into the system and you are saying there are going to be less. That is the exact opposite of what hte company wants to do.


can someone please tell the group what ASM, SMs and DMs make for the hours they work - overtime or not?

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