Tag Archives: Food Network

Food Network Celebrity Willie Degel Agrees to Pay $900,000 to Settle Wage and Hour Lawsuit

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Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and its owner, Food Network Celebrity Willie Degel, will pay $900,000 to settle a wage theft lawsuit filed against its restaurants located in Bayside, Queens and Midtown, New York City.  Ironically, Degel was featured on Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout, a show which followed Degel as he visited restaurants across the country with hidden cameras to capture their food service problems and attempted to fix them.

On May 22, 2014, Judge Loretta Preska, Chief United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York, approved a $900,000 settlement between the restaurants and its workers, who alleged that their worker rights were violated by the restaurant.  Approximately 239 restaurant workers who worked between September 2002 and September 2008 at the New York City and Queens restaurants are expected to benefit from the settlement.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2008 by captains, waiters, runners, bussers, and bartenders, alleged that the restaurants failed to pay them at the legally required minimum wage, routinely shaved their hours when they worked over 40 hours and refused to pay them overtime wages for hours worked over 40, misappropriated gratuities belonging to the waitstaff, failed to pay spread of hours pay when the employees’ workdays exceeded ten hours, and refused to pay for employee uniforms or laundering of such uniforms.

“Restaurant Stakeout” Star Sued For Pay Violations By Housekeeper

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Food Network personality Willie Degel has been accused of cheating his housekeeper out of overtime, minimum wage, and spread of hours pay, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

Lawyers for Ann Jimenez, a domestic worker who worked at Degels’ mansions in Long Island, allege that she worked more than ten hours a day and seventy hours a week, but was paid a flat salary between $400 and $500 per week, an amount that came out to less than minimum wage.

Degel, who is best known for his role on the Food Network show “Restaurant Stakeout,” is also currently facing a lawsuit by the waiters, busboys and servers at his Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse restaurants in New York City.  Attorneys in that case claim that the restaurants failed to pay the servers overtime and wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law.