Well, well, well, look who owes $5.25 million for being a sneaky sneak and misappropriating 4 to 5 percent of each shift's wine and drink sales from the workers' tip pool and then taking an unlawful "tip credit" that pushed pay below minimum wage and failed to pay extra for shifts lasting more than 10 hours: Mario "I'm About to Explode and Send Olive Oil All Over the Fucking Place" Batali. Well, he owes it with his business partner Joseph Bastianich, so technically he'll only be responsible for half that amount leaving him plenty of money to buy some more orange Crocs and hopefully some Stridex medicated skin pads to scrub some of that grease and smirk off his face. About 1,100 employees, including servers, busboys, runners and bartenders who worked at restaurants like Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto and Tarry Lodgein Port Chester will divvy up the money after one third of it goes to the lawyers.
Can we get a collective "Hallelujah" up in here? It's so nice to see that some restaurant workers who felt they were being taken advantage of actually got up the courage to take their bosses to court and they were proven to be right in a court of law. Stephanie Capsolas and Hernan Alvarado, a waitress and a kitchen runner at Babbo, were the ones who initially filed suit against the restaurant and I hope they are somewhere today sharing a bottle of over-priced wine and celebrating the victory.
It's really a victory for all restaurant staff because so often we are taken advantage of. I don't know about you, but that first hour I am at work mopping, filling ketchups and scraping out candles, I am only getting paid the tipped employee wage and not one of those ketchup bottles has ever tipped me. And when I worked at another certain restaurant, I really didn't appreciate having to tip out people who should have been paid an hourly wage. Really? I tip out that girl in the kitchen who makes coffee just so you can pay her a tipped employee wage instead of minimum wage and you can save on payroll? Not cool. (But I still love your frozen pomegranate margaritas.) And at the Restaurant That Shall Not Be Named, I questioned their tipping procedure but I was fired before I could put on my Sherlock Holmes outfit and determine if it was on the up and up. The point is, that maybe restaurants will take note of this lawsuit and think twice before being a low-down dirty sneakity snake ass place that tries to screw the little people.
But back to Mario Batali. I know he shares this debt with his business partner, but since Mario Batali is famous, let's talk about him. He gets on my nerves. He always looks like he needs to make a bowel movement but he didn't have time to do it before he left home and now he doesn't want to go anywhere else so he'll just hold it. He looks like he could bottle his own olive oil by just wiping his face with a towel and then wringing it into a water bottle. Crocs are even worse than Uggs. I have eaten at his Otto restaurant and I will give it up to him that it was delicious fucking pizza. Expensive as hell, but delicious. I'm sure I tipped well and now I know that some of that tip went into his own pocket, right next to his emergency stash of pork sausage. I also know that now it is going back to the server, food runner and busser who earned it in the first place.
Way to go, employees. Congratulations on the settlement. What would you like to say to Mario Batali if you had the chance? Because you know he reads The Bitchy Waiter. (No, he doesn't.)
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