1. What could have Starbucks done to be sure that its prohibition against off-the-clock work was enforced?
2. Why does the court consider it important that Starbucks did not increase store budgets when they reclassified the ASMs as nonexempt?
In October 2002, Starbucks changed the job description for assistant store managers (ASMs) to include routine tasks including service, cleaning, and other nonmangement tasks, and reclassified them for purposes of the FLSA from “exempt” to “nonexempt.” Though this made all ASMs throughout the country eligible for overtime, Starbucks did not increase store labor budgets and store managers were discouraged from allowing workers overtime. Several ASMs filed suit claiming that the new job responsibilities could not be completed in 40 hours and that Starbucks managers enforced an unwritten policy of encouraging or allowing ASMs to work “off-the-clock” in order to control overtime costs in violation of the FLSA.