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.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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