NEW YORK Restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani and his company, Cipriani USA, are being sued for allegedly violating federal and New York State labor laws, plaintiffs’ attorneys, said this week.
The lawsuit was filed in New York Federal Court on behalf of current and former servers, bartenders and a cocaptain who have worked at Cipriani 42nd Street, Cipriani Wall Street, Cipriani 23rd Street and the Rainbow Room. It alleges that the restaurateur routinely kept service charges “that customers reasonably believed were going to the workers who provided their food and drinks.”
Cipriani spokesman Matthew Hiltzik said the company had not seen the complaint, but “based on what we’ve read, this seems like a desperate attempt to conjure up the same claims that were dismissed several years ago by the state’s highest court. Cipriani has been ahead of the curve in clearly notifying its customers that the service charge is distinct from any gratuities paid to the staff.”
The suit filed by the law firms of Outten & Golden LLP and Fitapelli & Schaffer LLPalso alleges that Cipriani engaged in shaving time records to pay employees for fewer hours than they worked.