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A Starbucks coffee shop in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The California state Supreme Court ordered Starbucks Thursday to pay its employees who routinely perform tasks after their scheduled shift, such as store closings.

The backdrop: This comes after Douglas Troester, a Starbucks employee, filed a complaint in court arguing that he should get paid for his time spent closing up the shop, activating the alarm and walking coworkers to their cars — in compliance with the company’s policy.

Court documents reveal that, over the 17-month period of his employment, Troester’s unpaid time totaled to about 12 hours and 50 minutes. At $8 per hour (minimum wage at the time), that adds up to $102.67.

  • “That is enough to pay a utility bill, buy a week of groceries, or cover a month of bus fares,” Associate Justice Goodwin Liu wrote.
  • A U.S. District Court had ruled against Troester, saying that the time spent carrying out the tasks was minimal. But Liu wrote that "the facts here demonstrate, a few extra minutes of work each day can add up."
  • But Associate Justice Leondra Kruger said there may be times that are “so brief ... or difficult to accurately measure or estimate,” which might be unreasonable for an employer to account for. The case has returned to the 9th Circuit for a final decision.

A Starbucks spokesperson told Axios: "We are disappointed with the court’s decision. We will await further disposition of the case before the 9th circuit as the appeal process continues."

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.