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Chef Mario Batali's Del Posto Sued for Back Wages and Tips

October 20, 2010

According to an article from last week's Wall Street Journal that our Santa Ana labor attorneys have been following, twenty-seven former and current workers at Del Posto, famous Chef Mario Batali's well-known New York restaurant, filed a wage and hour lawsuit last week, seeking back wages and tips that the restaurant allegedly owes them.

The wage and hour lawsuit reportedly accuses the restaurant's management of violating wage and hour laws, by depriving employees from tips and service charges from banquets at the restaurant. This suit is reportedly part of a wider campaign, launched by the advocacy group, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), against the Italian restaurant. The group has waged nine campaigns against other famous New York restaurateurs like Alan Stilman of Smith & Wollensky, and Daniel Boulud, reportedly securing millions of dollars in employee settlements.

ROC-NY was originally formed in 2001 to provide support to displaced workers after the terrorist attacks on 2001, and according to Jeffrey Mansfield, an organizer with the advocacy group, there will be protests outside the Manhattan restaurant until the company negotiates with workers to resolve their wage and hour issues. Mansfield claims this isn't just about getting money--it is about fighting for changes in the workplace.

The lawsuit alleges that every night the management was taking 8-9% for wine sales out of the tip pool. Banquet workers were also reportedly forced to receive a flat pay rate, and did not directly receive a service charge of a 23%, which deprived them of gratuity that they might have possibly received.

Del Posto is also being accused of violating state law requiring employees to receive an extra hour of compensation if they work for 10 or more hours in a single day. Employees were also not given payment for laundering required uniforms. The employees are seeking unpaid tips and wages, liquidated damages, and interest, as well as attorney's fees.

If you or someone you know in Orange County, California has a wage and hour issue, our Anaheim-based employment attorneys can help find a solution for your recovery. Call today for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.

Del Posto Latest on Lawsuit Menu, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, ROC-NY

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)