Tipped service workers at Mario Batali’s eight New York City restaurants, including Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto, and Tarry Lodge, have settled their wage and hour class and collective action for $5,250,000, according to a stipulation filed in federal court.
The workers alleged that the Batali restaurants violated the FLSA and NYLL by: (1) unlawfully deducting the equivalent of four to five percent of each shift’s wine or alcoholic beverage sales from the tip pool; (2) unlawfully taking a “tip credit” and paying the service staff less than the minimum wage; and (3) failing to pay employees spread-of-hours pay when they worked more than ten hours in a day.
Workers will receive a proportional share of the Settlement Fund based on the number of hours they worked, the restaurant at which they worked, the percentage of total tips received during their employment, and whether they opted in to the collective.
The Settlement Agreement creates a fund of $5,250,000 for approximately 1,100 class members. The eligible employees consist of all individuals who worked at the restaurants as captains, servers, waiters, bussers, runners, back waiters, bartenders, and/or barbacks from July 22, 2004 to February 14, 2012.
This settlement, which is still subject to Court approval, would be a record for a “multiple restaurant” case in New York. The record for a single restaurant settlement in New York is $3.15 million for the case involving Sparks Steakhouse.