Last week, news broke that serial restaurant irritation Maimon Kirschenbaum had dropped a labor suit on Joe Bastianisch, Mario Batali, and the Babbo enterprise. The lawyer has filed many a restaurant lawsuit over the past few years, some more successful than others. In this one, the plaintiffs, current Babbo workers, alleged that Batali & Co. did not pay minimum wage or overtime and shared tips among non-tipped employees at Babbo.
In response, Joe Bastianich tells Eater today that he's is going to fight the charges, and says the idea of settling out of court to keep the matter quiet it out of the question. "I would love to come back with a ruling from a judge and have them throw it out." He calls it a classic shake down (also calls it bullshit), noting that the law firm hired a PR company to publicize the case. "We're going to fight this to every inch of the law, because we know we're right. We're not going to let them shake us down for a quick settlement. We'll fight this to the end," he says. Various other restaurateurs have told Eater that they keep lawyers on retainer specifically to deal with potential labor suits like these.
· Disgruntled Workers Sue Batali and Bastianich for Labor Woes [~ENY~]