Back in the summer of 2010 when workers first filed a labor lawsuit against Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Babbo for skimming tips and other wage and hour violations, Bastianich swore up and down that settling the suit was out of the question saying, "We're going to fight this to every inch of the law, because we know we're right." Perhaps not.
According to documents filed Monday, Batali, Bastianich, and their company Pasta Resources Inc. agreed to pay out $5.25 million in a class action settlement. Since 2010, the case against Babbo grew into a full on legal maelstrom as more and more restaurants and workers joined the suit and it was given class action status. According to the original complaint, managers deducted four to five percent of each shift's wine and alcohol sales from the tip pool and denied the workers "spread of hour" pay for those worker more than 10 hours in a day.
Batali and Bastianich argued that Del Posto, Esca, and Lupa should be exempt from the suit since they didn't employ the practices, but the judge believed it was a company-wide policy.
According to the agreement, reported by Law 360, the funds will be divided among all captains, servers, waiters, bussers, runners, backwaiters, bartenders and barbacks who work or worked at Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto or Tarry Lodge between July 2004 and February 2012. Thorn in the industry's side D. Maimon Kirschenbaum and his fellow lawyers are requesting to keep one third of the settlement as payment.
· Mario Batali Gets Waitstaff Wage Action Off Plate For $5M [Law 360]
· Bastianich: We Will Not Be Shaken Down by Our Workers [~ENY~]