In a case that should serve as a warning signal to all restaurant owners in New York, world-famous Celebrity chef Mario Batali settled a class action lawsuit filed by employees of his various New York City restaurants for an astonishing $5.25 million. In addition to claiming violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of New York Labor Law and the FLSA, the employees filed suits claiming that Batali and his business partner Joseph Bastianich unlawfully confiscated up to five percent of the employees’ tips for their own profit. The Federal Government has set forth strict guidelines regarding compensation by way of tips and bonuses.
Violations pursuant to the FLSA and NY Labor Law may result in damages that are double the actual payment owed to employees with an obligation to pay the employees’ attorneys’ fees. This provides an incentive for lawsuits pursuant to these statutes. It is more important now than ever to ensure that your business is represented by someone who is adept at navigating this complicated legal landscape in order to protect your business and personal assets. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP is a firm with the experience and know-how to bring your business into compliance and defend your interests in the courtroom.