Another New York Wage and Hour Violations Case Puts Iron Chef Morimoto in Hot Seat
This August 31 newyork.grubstreet.com article discusses yet another high profile New York wage and hour violations case brought by Joseph & Kirschenbaum’s own Maimon Kirschenbaum – this time against the prestigious restaurant Morimoto. The article boils down the case being filed on behalf of Jose Bueno – who worked for 3 ½ years as a bar back at the restaurant. Bueno claims that management kept a percentage of his gratuities and shared tip money that should have been his with a silver polisher – a non-service employee. According to the law, non-service employees should not be allowed to participate in such a tip pool.
Attorney Kirschenbaum was quoted in the article: “The silver polisher should be well paid just like the chef and dish washer… but the customer is leaving a tip for the waiter and the tip is the waiter’s tip.” In response to questions about the sheer volume of New York wage and hour violations cases that Kirschenbaum has filed recently, Kirschenbaum said that, although the lawsuits may be in a sense “repetitive,” they are justified because “sharing tips with management and non-service employees and taking parts of mandatory gratuities are blatantly illegal practices.”
This article, from Pharmalot.com, discusses the US Department of Labor's filing of an amicus brief to appeal a US District Court ruling in a highly contested case that may have broader implications for the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The article discusses a battle between sales reps for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and their employers over overtime compensation. Essentially, the Glaxo reps argue that they should get overtime pay, but the pharmaceutical giant says that since the reps are technically "salespeople," the company should be exempt from FLSA rules governing overtime.
The article includes a quote from Judge Frederick Martone, who sided with GlaxoSmithKline and found that the sales reps should be considered "salespeople" pursuant to the FLSA definition. It also includes a quote from Joseph & Kirschenbaum's own Charles Joseph, who celebrated the DOL's amicus brief filing. The article says that this case is very important because this issue – whether pharmaceutical sales reps should get overtime or not – is being hotly debated in other courts. Joseph & Kirschenbaum represents the Glaxo reps in this case, and the firm also represents plaintiffs in another major analogous case involving the Swiss drugmaker Novartis.
Many mainstream publications report on a classic restaurant wage and hour violations case involving Mario Batali (famous for starring in Molto Mario and Iron Chef America).
According to the plaintiffs (represented by Joseph & Kirschenbaum), Batali and his co-owner, Joseph Bastianich, underpaid their workers, illegally skimmed tips from waitstaff, and compelled staff to work more than 10 hours a day (and more than 40 hours a week) in violation of the law. Workers claim that they had to split their tips with management based on the amount of wine they sold every evening at Batali's Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca.
See the articles for the testy air being generated by both sides in this case.