Two Michelin-starred haute Korean restaurant Jungsik and its chef Jung Sik Yim are being sued for skimming tips and unpaid wages. Former backwaiter David Bobb filed a class action lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that management pooled the tips and then did not properly pay them out to service staff, according to the complaint. He also claims that the restaurant did not properly pay wait staff during private events where a service charge was levied.
Bobb, who worked at the Tribeca restaurant for less than five months between 2014 and 2015, claims that non-tipped staff like managers and kitchen expediters illegally received a portion of the pooled tips. He is suing for unpaid minimum wage and legal fees. Representatives from Jungsik did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Jungsik opened at 2 Harrison St. in 2011, the second location after one in Seoul. It now offers a tasting menu for $200 and a set menu for $125. The complaint alleges that at least 100 employees would be impacted by the class action lawsuit.
This type of wage lawsuit is fairly common for restaurants. Last year, Per Se settled a similar lawsuit regarding private events, where the restaurant levied a service charge but did not distribute it as tips to waitstaff. Thomas Keller’s Columbus Circle restaurant paid out $500,000. And in 2012, the Mario Batali empire restaurants settled a class action wage lawsuit for more than $5 million, partly a result of pooling tips with non-tipped employees.