Batali and Bastianich Targeted in New Restaurant Worker Lawsuit
Twenty-seven waiters, busboys and others at New York City’s Del Posto restaurant have reportedly filed a lawsuit against owner Mario Batali and partners Joseph and Lidia Bastianich, claiming that they were not paid a legal wage. The plaintiffs allege that the restaurant’s managers pooled workers’ tips in violation of state labor laws and wrongfully withheld a portion of the gratuities on wine and cheese sales. The tip pool was allegedly divided on the basis of a point system, and the plaintiffs also reportedly contend that staff working banquets did not get their proper share of the service charge billed to customers, instead receiving a flat fee. The suit, which is at least the third involving a Batali-owned facility, seeks back pay, unspecified damages and attorney’s fees. See msnbc.com, October 12, 2010.