A federal court in New York has dismissed with prejudice claims that Mario Batali’s Del Posto restaurant allegedly retained portions of workers’ tips in violation of federal and state labor laws after approving an agreement requiring the defendants to pay $1.15 million into a settlement fund and provide workers with training and paid vacation time and sick leave. Amastal v. Pasta Resources, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-07748-RLE (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y., order entered September 24, 2012). Additional information about the lawsuit can be found in Issue 368 of this Update.
The 31 plaintiffs in this lawsuit had opted out of a similar class action involving captains, servers, waiters, bussers, runners, backwaiters, bartenders, and barbacks at Del Posto and seven other restaurants; the class action apparently concluded with a $5.25-million settlement deal preliminarily approved in May. Details about the class action appear in Issues 361 and 430 of this Update.
The deal also apparently releases claims against fellow defendants Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Joseph Bastianich who were identified as owners and operators of Del Posto. According to a news source, several restaurant workers’ discrimination claims, which were not part of the litigation, have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. See Law360, September 25, 2012.