Heavyweight chef Mario Batali is accused of illegally lightening the paychecks of workers at his Babbo restaurant.
Two ex-employees filed suit yesterday against the ponytailed former "Iron Chef America" and "Molto Mario" star, claiming they were cheated out of wages and overtime pay while working at the Greenwich Village eatery.
Stephanie Capsolas, a waitress, and Hernan Ricardo Alvarado, a kitchen runner, also say they were illegally forced to carve up their tips with other workers who weren't entitled to share in the gratuities.
Their class-action suit in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages for themselves and all other "similarly situated" co-workers at the Italian-style dining room.
In addition to Batali and Babbo's corporate parent, the suit targets co-owner Joseph Bastianich, son of TV chef Lidia Bastianich.
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