Twenty former and current Scarpetta employees are suing the restaurant and its celeb ex-chef Scott Conant for paying them less than the minimum wage, withholding tips, and not paying them overtime. A former busboy, Evans Rivera told the Daily News that he was fired when he complained about how tipping worked in the restaurant. He alleges that he lost out on $50 a night in tips that were rightfully his because management level staff shared in the tip pool, despite the fact that their manager status should have made them ineligible. As a result, Rivera says, his wages fell below the legal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Elsewhere the suit also complains of Conant's temper, accusing him of doing things like yelling at employees when a guest's cell phone when missing.
Since the charges date back farther than a year, the suit names owner Antanello Paganuzzi and Conant, despite the fact that the TV chef left the restaurant almost a year ago to work on his eponymous Italian restaurant Conant. No word yet on how much money the staffers are seeking. They are currently working to get class action status from the court. Meanwhile, Conant told Eater this week that he's still hunting for a space for his restaurant.