Three former waitresses at a Mexican restaurant in Bushwick are suing the restaurant for a variety of abuses that include wage theft, sexual harassment, and more. According to the Daily News report on the lawsuit, the women allege that the restaurant, La Fogata, paid them a $40 nightly rate plus commission, based on how many overpriced beers and tequila shots they could get the male clientele to buy them after the kitchen closed each night. The commission was supposed to be $8 per drink?and the women say they often had upwards of 10 to 15 drinks per night, which is a lot of booze for anyone?but that the restaurant's managers regular shorted them on their weekly payouts.
In addition to the wage theft and the failure to pay minimum wage, the women also allege sexual harassment and physical health problems from all that alcohol. The three are immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, and many of the other women who work there are undocumented immigrants, an especially invisible group both in and out of the restaurant industry. The waitresses and advocates tell the Daily News that these are regular hazards at late-night spots like this one.
Unsurprisingly the restaurant's owners have denied these allegations.
· Waitresses Say Restaurant Forces Them to Drink With Immigrant Customers to Run Up Bills [NYDN]
· All Coverage of Lawsuits [~ENY~]