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Tom Colicchio Denies Labor Violation Allegations and 'Boy's Club' Atmosphere at 'Wichcraft

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The Restaurant Opportunity Center is standing behind Colicchio.

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Tom Colicchio is denying the allegations in a labor suit from two ‘Wichcraft workers who claim that they were paid below the tipped minimum wage, not compensated properly for overtime, forced to change into and out of their uniforms off the clock, and worked in a "boy's club" atmosphere. Colicchio told TakePart that he takes the allegations seriously, but says there is no validity to them. "It was alleged that we were distributing tips to the managers, and that's just not true." He adds:  "And as for the ‘boy's club' thing, 16 of our 34 managers are women, so that's just not true."

The Restaurant Opportunity Center, which gave Colicchio a gold-star award, is standing behind the Top Chef judge. Co-founder and driector Saru Jayaraman said: "We gave Tom a gold-star award for his wage standards, his benefit standards, his promotion policy, and also the racial equality in his restaurants. Tom is honestly one of the best we've seen in these categories."

Colicchio faced another labor suit in 2008, which he settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.