Michelin-starred Gotham Bar & Grill has settled a wage theft lawsuit from former employees, agreeing to pay up to $1.25 million to those affected — though as a part of the settlement, the stalwart West Village American restaurant denies all claims.
According to the complaint, the restaurant allegedly failed to pay front-of-house employees for all hours worked, including overtime. The employees allege that Gotham Bar & Grill — a classic American restaurant from chef Alfred Portale that first opened in 1984 — took improper deductions from their paychecks, pocketed portions of their tips, and failed to give employees proper rate of pay forms. In order to avoid the ”burden and cost” of a lengthy lawsuit, the restaurant chose to settle, according to the suit; Eater has reached out for further comment.
Of the four named employees on the suit, two are set to receive $20,000 each and another two $10,000 each, pending final approval from the court, while other affected employees will be paid individual amounts for a grand total of $1.25 million. Any unclaimed funds will benefit Meals on Wheels.
Wage theft lawsuits are not an uncommon occurrence in NYC restaurants. The nearby Beatrice Inn was also recently sued for alleged unpaid wages, and the venerable Blue Hill at Stone Barns paid out $2 million in spring 2017 in a settlement. Plus, Babbo settled for more than $5 million in 2012, Per Se got hit for $500,000, Gramercy Tavern for $700,000, and chef Daniel Boulud coughed up $1.4 million in 2015.