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Former Employees Sue East Village Classic Odessa Cafe for Grossly Underpaying Them

Since June, two former employees have sued the Ukranian diner for failing to pay either minimum wage or overtime.

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Since June, two former employees of Odessa restaurant have filed separate lawsuits against the dive-y Ukranian diner in the East Village, accusing the owners of failing to pay minimum wage and of withholding overtime pay. The more recent of the two, filed by Mauricio Estrada in August, claims he regularly worked around 70 hours a week, and earned $356 or less for that time. A previous suit, filed in June by another employee, complained of a similar rate for the same long hours (although Bedford + Bowery notes that his pay did go up to $565 a week around 2011).

That first lawsuit ended in a settlement, while the newer is still being hashed out in court. The owners of Odessa have not commented on either case.

While the adjacent Odessa Cafe & Bar closed for good over a year ago, the old school restaurant has been steadfastly dishing out pierogies unfazed, excepting these recent wage theft allegations. The Odessa Cafe, meanwhile, is still in limbo. Odessa Restaurant, 119 Avenue A, East Village