Babbo Workers File Lawsuit Against Batali, Bastianich

The Wall Street Journal
July 22, 2010

Italian giants Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich have been slapped with an unpaid wages lawsuit from two employees at their restaurant Babbo. Employees Stephanie Capsolas and Hernan Ricardo Alvarado ““ both of whom still work there ““ filed a lawsuit in federal court today alleging that they’ve been deprived of tip wages. Capsolas has been a server for the past 2 ½ years, and Alvarado a waiter and runner for five years, according to attorneys . . . Babbo, a West Village Italian restaurant, is one of the most difficult reservations in the city.   [The lawyer] says the restaurant was improperly taking 4.5 percent of its wine sales every night and subtracting it from the tip pool, depriving employees of that income and decreasing their base wage.   .   . The suit also alleges that the restaurant wasn’t paying employees for an additional hour if they work more than 10 hours per day, as required by state law. The attorneys hope to make the suit a class-action one, which they said would affect 50 to 100 employees . . . An assistant for Mr. Batali said Joe and Mario are both out of town on summer vacation and cannot be reached for comment. “