Celebrity chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio wrote an open letter to restaurant workers calling for a “long overdue” conversation, in the wake of the recent sexual harassment allegations in the restaurant industry.
“I’m betting that we’re smart and confident enough to level the playing field and create real opportunity, or at least learn how it’s done from the new crop of women (and men) running their own kick*ss kitchens humanely and winning awards, while parenting young kids. I’m betting we can reinvent our industry as a place where people of all genders feel safe and prepare to lead.”
Tom Colicchio, owner of several top rated New York restaurants and star of the culinary series Top Chef, advised restaurant owners in a Newsweek article that they should not leave human resources laws and regulations to someone else. Among the advice by Colicchio was to understand specific local laws such as the New York State spread of hours requirement.
Under New York law, an employee whose workday is longer than ten hours must receive an extra hour of pay at the basic minimum hourly rate (i.e. $7.25) in addition to pay for the actual hours worked. For example, let’s say a waiter works a double shift, the first shift running from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the second shift running from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. That waiter is entitled to eight hours of pay for the shifts he worked plus one extra hour of pay at minimum wage because his start to finish time (the “spread of hours”) of his workday exceeded ten hours.