Chopped judge and ex-Scarpetta chef Scott Conant is being sued by former staffers at the Meatpacking District restaurant he departed last year. Among the allegations of the servers and busboys, Conant cheated denied them overtime, withheld tips which were shared with sommeliers and managers, and paid them less than minimum wage.
Evans Rivera, 38, told the Daily News he was fired in April from his busboy gig after he complained to management about a tipping system that screwed workers out of at least $50 a night.
“I gave my life to them,” said Rivera, from Honduras, with tears in his eyes. “I respected them but they just didn’t care.”
Rivera’s lawyer, Jeffrey Goldman, said the tipping system, in which tips were pooled and included in paychecks, made total wages fall below the legal minimum of $7.25 an hour.
It’s probably safe to say then, that Scott Conant has no mob ties, because the New York Daily News would know. The paper also reports today that a lawyer withdrew a discrimination suit against Williamsburg’s Fortunato Brothers bakery, without his client’s knowledge, fearing mob retaliation. The victim’s attorney, Donald Weiss, was unaware of the pastry shop’s mob connections until the reporter informed him.
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