Mario Batali has been getting a lot of press lately for the New York Times 4-star review of his restaurant Del Posto, and the opening of gourmet mega-mart Eataly. However, Batali is back in the papers as 27 employees of Del Posto have filed a lawsuit alleging violations of wage and hour law.
The employees claim that the restaurant developed a tip-pooling system, which assigned points to different classes of employees. This eventually resulting in an uneven distribution of tips amongst the workers. The suit also alleges that the restaurant outright withheld tips from workers on wine and cheese sales, and did not fairly distribute tips from banquets and private parties. Batali and his partners are currently being sued for similar situations in other restaurants that they own.
In recent months, a number of lawsuits have been filed against restaurants alleging similar violations of wage and hour law. All workers should understand their rights. Check out The Harman Firm’s page on wage and hour law here.