Hell’s Kitchen: Star Chef Sued for Wage & Hour Violations

On Thursday, June 13, 2013, a proposed class action was filed on behalf of all former and current employees of Chef Gordon Ramsey’s Los Angeles restaurant “The Fat Cow.” The class action is led by a former server, barista, and two hostesses who are taking their beef to California state court against the celebrity chef’s restaurant. The class action alleges that the restaurant’s management took tips from former employees, and violated a series of other wage-and-hour labor codes. The Fat Cow opened its doors on October 1st, 2012, and is already catching steam over improper managerial practices.

The Complaint alleges that former and current employees were forced to work through meal times and other breaks without receiving premium pay for missed meal or rest breaks. The plaintiffs contend that workers “have been and continue to be systematically deprived of the wages and compensation to which they are entitled by law, to the detriment of themselves, their families and the public at large.” Class members allege that the restaurant’s managers broke state labor code by “routinely” taking money out of the employee tip pool.

Chef Ramsey’s spokeswoman released a statement in response to the suit that stated “we are aware there was a problem with previous management which has since been changed, but this is totally unacceptable if there is any truth to it.”

Current and former employees of The Fat Cow asked the court to bar the restaurant from committing alleged labor violations in the future. In addition, they asked the court for unpaid compensation, punitive damages, withheld gratuities, and attorneys’ fees.

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