Friday, March 9, 2012

Chef Mario Batali settles lawsuit for $5.25 million

Batali owns several restaurants including including Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Esca, Del Posto, Lupa, Otto, and Tarry Lodge. 
Well, over one hundred waiters, busboys, bartenders, captains, runners and other staff sued Mario for allegedly withholding tips and failing to pay for overtime work.
The staff claimed that, at the end of each night, the owners would calculate four to five percent of the evenings total wine sales, and then deduct that amount from the staff's tip pool. There are reports that the money Batali and his partner took from the tip pool, was kept for themselves. 

Judge Richard J. Holwell wrote in his ruling that the restaurant staff was told these deductions from their tip pool went to replace broken glasses and dishes, but Holwell found no evidence of this.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the two business partners failed to properly pay overtime when restaurant staff had to work 10 hours, or more, a day.

Lawyers for both sides of the case have issued the exact same statement, which said, "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties."

Even though this case has been resolved, Batali and his partner are involved in another lawsuit, brought about by wait staff and other employees of their New York restaurant, Del Posto. Employees of this restaurant are suing the pair, claiming that they are still owed not just tips, but also hourly wages.

Wow, this guy goes from the frying pan into the fire.