Mario Batali Tip Scamming Lawsuit: What Are The Rules?

Photo Mar 10, 1 03 41 PM
    Wow, that's a lotta pasta! Yep, how many plates of his world famous delectable delights will Mario Batali have to sell to pay the $5.25 Million settlement? (read entire settlement agreement here – courtesy of Huffington Post).  Plenty.

What's It All About?

Flsa 001    Well, the lawsuit alleges that Batali, and his partner Joseph Bastianich, violated the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act by (1) pocketing tips owed to the staff that were equal to as much as 5 percent of nightly wine sales, (2) not paying the federal minimum wage, and (3) failing to pay overtime

Did Mario Break The Rules?

Tips 002    If the allegations are true, then, yes. Employers are not allowed to take their employee's tips for any reason.  Tips are the property of the employee.  There are certain states that allow employers to get a credit against wages owed for tips received but this is not what happened here.

Minimum wage 001    Not paying the Federal Minimum Wage?  What was he thinking?  An employer, famous or otherwise, has to pay his or her employees at least the minimum wage. It's the law!

Overtme 001    Failing to pay overtime?  This is illegal in all 50 states!

This Happened in New York

What If It Happened in California?

California labor code 001    If these things happened in California, there'd be hell to pay.  Here, employers are prohibited from crediting any portion of a tip received by an employee against the wages owed to that employee. (Labor Code Section 351).  Your boss could be on the hook for penalties, interest, attorney's fees and all sorts of grief (maybe eve punitive damages!). Don't let your boss cheat you out of what's yours!

    If you're entitled to overtime but didn't get paid overtime then, again, your boss would be in for some well-deserved grief. Take a look at Department of Industrial Relations on Overtime

    If you're in California and don't get paid minimum wage, you've been illegally taken advantage of and need to speak with a lawyer.  Period.  Here, take a look at the United States Department of Labor's Discussion on Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

Questions About Your Overtime, Meal Breaks, Tips, Minimum Wages?

Call California Attorney Lowell Steiger Directly

(877) 487-8221 or (323) 852-1100

Your Consultation is Free


One comment

  1. Anne Allbeury Hock on

    From a frequent Food TV watcher,,,,how does this guy get away with this? He broke the laws. Doesn't he have to face states attorney on this theft in New York? This makes Martha Stewart look like a saint. Why hasn't he been arrested for felony theft? I always liked watching his cooking show…but no longer now. In my opinion, Food Network should take him and his shows off the air. I am sure many folks will not go to his restaurants in NY, etc. If any of us stole from our employees, here in Maryland, we would be under indictment very quickly. Am I the only one who feels this way?