Sumathi Reddy, September 24th, 2012
Celebrity chef Mario Batali has agreed to a $1.15 million settlement in a casebrought by 31 workers at his acclaimed restaurant Del Posto.
The employees are members of the Restaurant Opportunities Center, an advocacy group, whose two-year battlehas included protests outside of the fine-dining, Italian restaurant.
The restaurant and its principals have denied the workers’ allegations that they were deprived of money from tips and overtime, among other claims.
“B & B Hospitality Group is proud to share that we have come to an amicable resolution with the ROC and look forward to working with ROC-NY to continue to foster and improve a mutually beneficial relationship with our team,” said Batali in an emailed statement from his assistant.
The settlement includes an agreement to expand the restaurant’s paid sick days and vacation policies and to institute a promotions policy and cultural sensitivity training for management.
The restaurant has also committed to working with ROC-NY to become a “High Road Employer.”
“What we term as the ‘high road’ refers to ethical employment practices that support better conditions for workers, which in turn benefits employers, consumers, and the community at large,” said Daisy Chung, executive director of ROC-NY, in an emailed copy of the agreed upon settlement.
The settlement was ROC-NY’s 10th resolution of a workplace justice campaign.
It comes on the heels of a $5.25 million settlement that Batali and his business partner, Joe Bastiniach, reached with a separate suit earlier this year.