On July 29, 2010, Outten & Golden LLP and their co-counsel, Joseph, Herzfeld, Hester & Kirschenbaum, filed an amended class and collective action complaint against Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich. Mr. Batali and Mr. Bastianich own a restaurant empire that includes Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, and Tarry Lodge. The lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages, overtime, misappropriated tips, and spread-of-hours pay for Plaintiffs and their similarly situated co-workers – hourly food service workers who work or worked at the critically acclaimed New York restaurants owned by Mr. Batali and Mr. Bastianich.
The amended complaint alleges, among other things, that Mr. Batali, Mr. Bastianich, and their restaurants unlawfully confiscated a portion of their workers’ tips in order to supplement their own profits. Specifically, it alleges, at the end of every shift, instead of distributing customers’ credit card tips to the workers who earned them as the law requires, Mr. Batali, Mr. Bastianich, and their restaurants took from the tip pool an amount equal to approximately 4% or 4.5% of the restaurants’ wine sales (and sometimes other beverage sales) for the night and put it in their own pockets.
On May 9, 2011, the judge overseeing the case, known as Capsolas v. Pasta Resources, No. 10 Civ. 5595, conditionally approved Plaintiffs to proceed as a collective under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The judge authorized Plaintiffs to send notice about the case to other current and former workers at Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto, and Tarry Lodge, so that other workers may join the case.
In February 2012, the parties settled the case for $5,250,000. The Court preliminarily approved the settlement in May 2012.
(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)