The restaurant industry finds itself once again defending allegations of wage violations and discriminatory behavior toward employees. In an era when more and more workers are enforcing their rights, restaurant employees in New York City are finding success, holding their employers accountable for rampant workplace violations.
This February, six servers over the age of 40 who worked at the French bistro La Rivage in Manhattan filed a lawsuit in federal court. According to DNAinfo, the case is against chef-owner Paul Denamiel, co-owner Marcel Denamiel and the restaurant itself.
The servers allege that the chef “created a hostile work environment in which [the servers] were subjected to constant screaming and insults about their age.” The suit says that the owners routinely threatened the workers with being replaced by younger employees who were “hungry for these jobs.” At least one server claimed was the victim of insults such as “You are too old” and “You don’t hear well,” while another alleges the chef mocked his hearing aid in front of customers.
When the treatment became unbearable, the older servers resigned from their positions. The restaurant allegedly replaced them all with individuals in their 20s and 30s. Chef Denamiel confirmed to the New York Post that all of the restaurant employees are currently in that age range.
In addition to age discrimination and harassment, the servers allege numerous other violations against the restaurant including tip theft, failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime and refusal to provide weekly wage statements as required by law. They are seeking unpaid wages, unspecified damages and attorney’s fees.
Many restaurant workers face issues like the ones mentioned above. It is important that wait-staff and others workers understand the rights they have to receive fair pay and fair treatment. Some rights include:
Leeds Brown Law, P.C., representing workers in New York City and the entire metro NY area, can help if you are the victim of wage theft, workplace discrimination or other employment law violations. We are experienced, professional and passionate attorneys who take pride in securing successful results for the hard-working of New York. Contact our office at 1-800-585-4658 for a free case evaluation.