The owners behind hit East Village Indian restaurant Babu Ji have settled a wage lawsuit from employees for less than $100,000. Notorious restaurant labor attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum sued Jessi and Jennifer Singh on behalf of two employees for pocketing tips and not paying overtime. Last week, the Singhs agreed to pay employees Warren Bayani and Mehmood Qureshi a total of $95,000, split almost evenly between the two of them and Kirschenbaum. The owners did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, according to public court records.
Kirschenbaum filed the lawsuit against the restaurant in July, claiming that Jessi Singh took cash tips from employees while paying them under minimum wage. They also claimed that they were paid a flat $800 a week, regardless of whether or not they worked extra hours. Bayan and Qureshi had been employees at the restaurant since September 2015, and they asked that the Singhs pay damages and attorney fees.
Kirschenbaum has filed many similar wage lawsuits, including against Le Bernardin, the Batali Empire, Artisanal, and more. They often end in settlements. Reached by phone, Jessi Singh did not want to comment. Lawsuit or not, the popular restaurant serving inventive Indian food continues to grow. They’ve been eyeing the west coast for a bit, and last month, they announced that they will open a new location in San Francisco.