The lawsuit, which was filed in New York federal court on behalf of current and former servers, bartenders, and a co-captain of several Cipriani locations, alleges violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL).
The defendants named in the case "Anthony Whitehurst, et al. v. Cipriani USA, Inc., et al," are Giuseppe Cipriani; Cipriani USA, Inc.; Cipriani 200, LLC; Cipriani 42nd Street, LLC; Cipriani 42nd Street Lessee, LLC; GC Ballroom Operator, LLC; Cipriani Fifth Avenue, LLC; Exquisite Staffing, LLC; CBI Personnel, Inc.; and CTI Staffing, Inc.
The plaintiffs claim that Cipriani routinely failed to turn over the service charges paid by customers to the workers who provided their food and drinks. At catered events, gratuities intended for the food service staff also went into Cipriani's pockets.
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Earlier this year, the New York State Department of Labor announced a record $2.3 million in wages recovered for restaurant workers in New York City. More than 800 workers are to be compensated for minimum and overtime wage underpayments. Labor board investigators found other restaurants throughout the city that are in violation of New York Employment laws, and is currently endeavoring to recoup workers' hard-earned wages.
"Nobody wants to dine in a sweatshop, and with this enforcement action, we are slamming the door shut on the mistreatment of workers at every one of these establishments," said Commissioner Smith, who likely will not be dining at Cipriani's anytime soon.