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Starbucks to Change Scheduling as Some Employees Struggle

The coffee giant, known for worker-friendly policies, told employees it would change scheduling practices to address erratic hours and long commutes.
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A Starbucks barista readies a beverage for a customer in New York City. Starbucks told employees that it would change scheduling practices to help with erratic schedules and long commutes.Stephen Chernin / Getty Images file

Starbucks, known for its worker-friendly policies such as providing health benefits and stock purchase options, told employees Thursday that it would change scheduling practices after a New York Times story featured a barista who was struggling with erratic hours and a grueling commute.

“Taking care of our partners is a responsibility I take very personally,” wrote Cliff Burrows, group president for the U.S., the Americas and the Teavana division, in an email to employees. “I was troubled to read a New York Times story this morning regarding scheduling challenges one partner, Jannette, faced as she strives to balance work while also pursuing a college degree and raising her son.” The piece detailed Jannette Navarro’s scramble to work last-minute schedules while finding care for her 4-year-old son and commuting three hours. The coffee giant said that starting immediately, it would require all shifts to be posted at least a week in advance, bar required back-to-back closing and opening shifts, update scheduling software for more consistent schedules, and try to transfer workers with commutes longer than an hour to stores closer to their homes.



— Margaret Santjer