Chef Batali sued over tips at NYC eatery

Chef Mario Batali

October 12, 2010 5:20:47 PM PDT
Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his business partners at the highly rated Manhattan restaurant Del Posto are being sued by 27 workers who say they weren't paid a legal wage.

The group of waiters, busboys and other workers say managers at Del Posto improperly pooled their tips in violation of state labor laws, and illegally withheld a portion of some gratuities on wine sales.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.

It also says staff who worked banquets weren't getting their proper share of a 23 percent service charge billed to patrons that they probably assumed was a gratuity.

Batali and partners Joseph and Lidia Bastianich are already defending themselves against similar suits involving other restaurants.

Their lawyer, Michael Weber, didn't immediately return a phone message.