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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:58 PM

Seattle's Cherry Street Coffee imposes new 1.5% 'sick leave surcharge'

Source: The Stranger

We received a tip this afternoon from a reader who noticed that Cherry Street Coffee, which has seven locations in and around downtown Seattle, has just put up shiny new signs at all their registers alerting customers to a new "Sick Leave Surcharge" of 1.5 percent on every order.

The sign reads: "Sick Leave Surcharge: To help offset the costs of the City of Seattle's paid sick leave policy we are adding a 1.5% surcharge to all orders. We appreciate your understanding and continued patronage."

If you'll recall, on September 1, 2012, Seattle's new paid sick and safe time law went into effect, mandating that all Seattle employees receive paid sick leave. As Cienna reported at the time, the law was in part aimed at food-service workers, who often don't get sick leave and who, for the love of God, should not be serving you food or brewing your coffee while they are sneezing or barfing (or even just feeling a touch sneezy or barfy).

Says Slog Tipper Whitney: "There were many ways (Cherry Street Coffee owner Ali Ghambari) could have dealt with this. He could have upped prices slightly to compensate, for example." But instead, says Whitney, "he chose to call himself out as a royal dickhead for life, because now we all know he wasn't paying for sick leave before forced to by law."

Read more: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/02/01/local-coffee-chain-starts-charging-customers-a-15-percent-sick-leave-surcharge

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Seattle's Cherry Street Coffee imposes new 1.5% 'sick leave surcharge' (Original post)
Newsjock Feb 2013 OP
TheCowsCameHome Feb 2013 #1
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #2
Agschmid Feb 2013 #3
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #4
wandy Feb 2013 #5
Pryderi Feb 2013 #8
JHB Feb 2013 #16
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #6
gateley Feb 2013 #10
juajen Feb 2013 #20
gateley Feb 2013 #23
gateley Feb 2013 #22
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #7
gateley Feb 2013 #9
The empressof all Feb 2013 #28
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #33
freshwest Feb 2013 #11
JBoy Feb 2013 #12
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #13
busterbrown Feb 2013 #15
Grins Feb 2013 #14
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #17
distantearlywarning Feb 2013 #18
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #19
phantom power Feb 2013 #21
Incitatus Feb 2013 #24
Enrique Feb 2013 #25
Earth_First Feb 2013 #26
MADem Feb 2013 #27
FedUpWithIt All Feb 2013 #29
librabear Feb 2013 #30
hughee99 Feb 2013 #31
KG Feb 2013 #32
idwiyo Feb 2013 #34

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:02 PM

1. Ghambari blew it.

Now he'll pay the price.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:02 PM

2. Restaurants in San Francisco do something similar...

and bunches of them are in hot water for collecting more in surcharges than they distribute in benefits.
http://sanfrancisco.about.com/od/governmentcityservices/qt/San-Francisco-Restaurants-Healthy-Sf-Surcharges-Defraud-Consumers-Grand-Jury-Says.htm

Cherry Street Coffee had better be good at accounting that sick leave surcharge.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:04 PM

3. Yes he did...

""he chose to call himself out as a royal dickhead for life"

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:06 PM

4. Fuck that. Seattle is gorged with coffee shops, go elsewhere. n/t

 

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:14 PM

5. So why make a big thing about it....

Giving sick leave is a very good idea especially if you are in the food industry.
Just make a few minor changes to you're business plan. Raise your prices if necessary.
No need to be an ass about it.

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Response to wandy (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:31 PM

8. Exactly! n/t

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Response to wandy (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:36 PM

16. I beleive that's answered by the "royal dickhead" part

I gather he was outraged at the requirement, and is discovering how few of his (possibly now former) customers share that outrage.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:15 PM

6. Crybaby

I'll get my coffee in Starbucks in Seattle.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:52 PM

10. No -- Howard Schultz dicks his employees around, too -- there are sooooo many

little independent coffee places in Seattle.

Try Vivace (my fave. )

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Response to gateley (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:14 AM

20. Actually, they do have health insurance, but, it would be lovely if they had sick days.

They used to. Perhaps they will be reinstated. Not many companies give stock to their employees, and they also have very good staff policies, i.e., you have to have three write-ups within six months to be fired. Starbucks is a very well managed company.

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Response to juajen (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:02 PM

23. Oops, I responded to myself instead of to you.

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Response to gateley (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:01 PM

22. Looks good on paper but I know a few people who work there who indicate it's not

the most employee-friendly atmosphere.

Also, Schultz has been behind some issues that weren't exactly "giving back to the community". He's become just another greedy businessman who only focuses on getting more.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:28 PM

7. Meh. Cafe Darte is the place to go when I'm in Seattle.

 

Looooooooooooove their coffee.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:48 PM

9. Try Vivace. :-)

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:23 PM

28. Or Cafe Lladro

They are yummy...But I agree Cafe D'Arte is great too

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Response to The empressof all (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:50 PM

33. Ooooo, yeah!

 

I forgot about them. They are kick butt too.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:05 PM

11. Dayum! The teabaggers are getting thick in the northwest.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:05 PM

12. "Royal dickhead" indeed.

From strictly a business perspective, he's an idiot. Nothing like reminding your food customers, at the point of purchase, of disease and sickness.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:21 PM

13. Well, I've ever been and now I'll never go

Lost a potential customer, smartasses and I will be telling everyone I know.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:36 PM

15. You know what? He is really telling Obama to go stick it in a very subtle way....

which is not so subtle.... Amazing, the lengths people will go to. Iím sure this guy watches that shit hole of a station as soon as he gets home!!!

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:31 PM

14. Like the medical care for New York's police and fire...

...the first responders on 9/11, who were hit by cancer and other diseases, where it took Jon Stewart to publicly shame Congress (i.e., Republicans) to pay for their medical bills...this would not be an issue if there was universal health care!

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:48 PM

17. How long until he undoes this?

I say a week.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:15 PM

18. I don't know about anybody else, but

I would be happy to pay an extra .05 for my next coffee to ensure that my barista is not passing along the flu to me along with my morning dose of caffeine. It could be called the "I don't get a horrible illness this year tax".

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:27 PM

19. At signs like this I always ask how much their rent is and what % of their costs are wages...

since they want to share the breakdown of their business costs publicly.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #19)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:48 AM

21. yeah, and what's their "CEO's paycheck surcharge" ?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:04 PM

24. Why not break it all down.

How much goes to pay for the owner's Mcmansion ,vacations, yacht, whores?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:15 PM

25. i wonder if any places already paid for sick leave

they could put up a sign saying "No surcharge needed, because we paid our workers sick leave before the city made us do it."

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:19 PM

26. You know what, if they didnt advertise this in such a jackasses manner...

I wouldn't mind.

I still don't mind, if I have to pay more for equality, so be it.

However, dont politicize it. Say hey, "in order to offer a more equitiable work environment for our employees, you may notice a modest price increase in the services we provide."

Why is that so hard?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:19 PM

27. Papa John style cheapass bass-tid! I say go somewhere else! nt

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:24 PM

29. Naked greed. Don't they have any pride or shame?

Unreal. Greed is ugly. It truly is the root of all evil.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:28 PM

30. Who cares?

 

So rather than raise prices he instituted a surcharge to make the cost more obvious to the customer. He's obviously pushing an agenda. If you don't like it you don't have to buy coffee there.

I fail to see why this is news. The airline charges me for TSA inspections too.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:31 PM

31. I think it's great.

but I'd like to see a company break down it's ENTIRE cost structure.

For a cup of coffee...
1.5% sick leave
3.4% for your server
4.9% for the store manager
17% for the coffee
5% for the water
2% for the cup
11% for store operating costs
27% for the CEO and top executives salary, bonuses and benefits
14% advertising
11% profit
etc...

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:38 PM

32. Just how tone-deaf are these corp types?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 04:23 PM

34. That's really good way to tell your customers that you are a cheapskate and don't give a shit

about your employees OR your customers.
If you are barely scraping by and trying to keep your business afloat, just say so. I bet majority of customers would be more than wiling to throw in few extra pennies to make sure your employees keep their jobs AND get payed sick leave too. At least I would be happy to pay extra for that.

BTW, I still find it incomprehensible that US doesn't have NHS like healthcare system.
Guess I shouldn't be so shocked there is such thing as unpaid sick leave...

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