Celebrity Chef and Restaurant Owner Mario Batali Agrees to pay $5.25 million Settlement over Employee Tip Lawsuit

In one tip pool violation case, celebrity chef and restaurant owner and a partner have agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit filed because his waiters, captains, and other employees claimed that his restaurants had illegally taken part of their tips to supplement their profits. The settlement if approved by a judge could include about 1,100 employees including servers, busboys, runners, and bartenders who worked at the restaurants and in some cases as far back as employees who worked in the restaurants in 2004.

The lawsuit against Batali in 2010 claims that he and a partner Joseph Bastianich, had a restaurant policy in place that deducted an amount equal to four to five percent of total wine sales at the end of every night from the tip pool and that they were keeping the money. One bartender stated that they were told it was a policy for the Batali restaurant group and that the money went to the house. Employees also claim they were told that the money was used to cover expenses for wine research and for broken glassware. The judge for the lawsuit made no findings pertaining to those claims.
A judge is expected to hold a hearing on the proposed settlement and then decide whether or not to approve it.

Cases similar to this one occur all across the country and even here to the employees of Tennessee. If you or someone you work with feels that you been improperly paid for your work or have another employment related complaint, then we encourage you to contact one of our experienced and caring Tennessee employment attorneys immediately. We care about our clients and will work with you to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to by law.

Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

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