Remember, back in November, when Mario Batali provoked the ire of many a financial services employee when he said that “the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys”? Kind of silly of to ask if you can jog your memory that far back, since if you’re one of the thousands that responded by vowing never to set foot in one of that bastard’s restaurants ever again (and made certain others wouldn’t as well, by noting in reviews that “fingernails” and “dog hair” were preferable to his food) you not only remember but think of that day, and stew over it, with every waking moment. And in the days and the weeks and the months since, you have waited for your moment to give him a taste of his own medicine, i.e. likening some of his questionable actions to those of genocidal maniacs. That moment has come.
Mario Batali, the celebrity TV chef and New York restaurant owner, is often seen with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, taste-testing the culinary delights of Spain in their public television series “On the Road Again.” Batali took a detour, through his lawyers, to New York federal court in Manhattan, where he was sued and accused of cheating workers of part of their tips, as well as failing to pay overtime and the minimum wage. He and his associate Joseph Bastianich agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle the class- action lawsuit, according to court papers. Servers at restaurants including Babbo and Del Posto sued in 2010 alleging their employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act — in part by pocketing gratuities equal to as much as 5 percent of nightly wine sales. “Mr. Batali, Mr. Bastianich, and their restaurants unlawfully confiscated a portion of their workers’ hard-earned tips in order to supplement their own profits,” employees said in their complaint.
Batali got into hot water in November by saying bankers are “not heroes but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating.” He apologized the next day, after financial industry executives criticized him and called for a boycott of his establishments.
Batali Agrees to $5.25M Server-Tip Suit Accord [Bloomberg]