Mario Batali Sued For Being Stingy

July 23, 2010

Owners of the Babbo Ristorante Enoteca, Joe Bastianich & Mario Batali are sued by current employees over wages. The staff claims that the celebrity chefs are not paying the legal amount and are deducting from their tips! You have to keep reading to see what shady business is really going on, and I have some photos and a video for you!

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Unfortunately this is not the first time we have heard about star chefs underpaying their workers. According to the federal lawsuit filed by Stephanie Capsolas and Hernan Ricardo Alvarado minimum wage is not being paid, and they are subtracting a percentage of wine sales from the tip pool. And with further investigation they may find more!

In regards to Joe Bastianich & Mario Batali sued for being stingy, lawyer for the prosecution Denise Schulman stated:

“They’ve been paying them the wrong minimum wage and illegally withholding tips.”

More specifically, the accusations about the employers are as follows: they have been allegedly taking 4.5% of the wine sales away from the tip pool; they have not been meeting the minimum wage standards; they have not been paying employees the mandated extra hour if they work a shift of more than 10 hours.

They are hoping to turn this into a class action lawsuit which would involve up to 100 employees. It could be a huge trial as Babbo’s in only one of many owned by the Iron Chef. And I wish this wasn’t something we have been hearing about for years.

“Whenever someone on that level is stealing money from someone on such a low level of income it is very egregious,” said Mr. Kirschenbaum, the other lawyer fighting. “Apparently restaurants have not learned their lesson and they continue to line their pockets with money belonging to their employees.”

I am sure we will hear from them soon but as for now, an assistant for Mr. Batali said:

“Joe and Mario are both out of town on summer vacation and cannot be reached for comment.”

I hope they get the resolution they deserve! What do you think about Babbo’s Joe Bastianich & Mario Batali sued over wage issues? Let me know in the comment section after you check out these photos and a video of him facing employer issues.

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Photos: Schlein, Chris Connor, Judy Eddy, PNP

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11 Responses to “Mario Batali Sued For Being Stingy”

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  1. 1
    leo Says:

    what a FN pig im a chef at a wonderful restaurant he gives a bad name he shoulfd be sued and shut down i know he has the money lose some weight you disgraceful piece of blubber

  2. 2
    Kathy Says:

    As a business owner there are certain guidelines you have to follow and if he was paying the wrong wage did you ever bring it to his attention? His books have to be audited and his accountant is just as responsible as he is for not catching this. He also should have been audited by the state for this problem. Did anyone ever question that? Or do you just want your 15 minutes of fame?

  3. 3
    Peggy Says:

    This is nothing – A relative of mine is a wait person at Woody’s a Bar-B-Que restaurant in lake Wales and they deduct a certain percentage frome EACH EMPLOYEE whenever they have to order new supplies like dishes, glassware, silverware, etc. And they are vindictive and punish you by taking away hours if you ever call in sick. They require you to buy your uniform tops from a certain supplier (kick-backs anyone?) and they expect their employees to clean up using bleach products and if your uniform is splattered with bleach you have to buy new ones! Employees are scared to complain because they need their jobs. This is PITIFUL!!!!

  4. 4
    Gimle Says:

    A few years ago I heard(from someone who worked at Babbo) that Batali was always pulling stuff out of the garbage, insisting it was still “good”. I had eaten there and enjoyed it but decided not to go again. Also, I don’t buy that he wouldn’t necessarily know about these violations, the restaurant business is tough and owners have to know this stuff. It does stink and I hope he pays up now that he’s been caught.

  5. 5
    marci Says:

    sheezzzzzzzzzzz give the guy a break…he’s been accused, not convicted….

    WHY the personal remarks…what does that have to do with the accusations… you idiot leo!!!

  6. 6
    Daniel A. Scharich Says:

    I believe that Mr. Batali deserves his day in court and if found guilty then by all means hang him by his thumnails if that is what you want to do but I believe boycotting his eateries would do more damage to him. If guilty fine him and make him pay all the lost wages with interest but if found innocent beyond a reasonable doubt then leave the chef alone and let him continue to do his work. Remember, in America innocent until proven guilty not the other way round.


    Daniel A. Scharich

  7. 7
    AJ Says:

    I applaud his business success, but I will condemn this practice if found to be true. I also hope if found guilty, he and his business partner are required to pay restitution to all current and past employees harmed by this “mistake”.

  8. 8
    Mindy Coffee Says:

    good grief this a bunch of crap I totally agree with Kathy the accountant should have noticed and brought to the two chefs attention so this wouldn’t be happening. It sounds to me like someone else said they are just looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Grow up and get over it.

  9. 9
    Miriam Says:

    This is so embarrassing, people who knows him said that he has the money to pay his employees. Shame on him!!

  10. 10
    Xemployee Says:

    I worked at one of Batali’s restaurants in Vegas…There are a TON of pissed off ex-employees who are requesting that they be paid the money owed.

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