An attorney known as a prolific defender of servers and kitchen staff in New York City has struck again, and the respondent this time is a trendy provider of Indian cuisine located in the East Village.
The plaintiffs in question are two former employees of Babu Ji, a small restaurant that gets great reviews in terms of flavor, presentation and ambiance. The servers suing Babu Ji claim that they often worked more than 40 hours per week without the benefit of overtime. Instead of being paid an hourly wage plus time and a half for each overtime hour, the plaintiffs alleged that they were paid a flat $600 per week fee as if they were on a salary. Moreover, the servers complain that the proprietors scooped cash and credit card tips left behind by diners.
The NYC Restaurant Killer
New York labor laws do not allow restaurant servers to be paid on an exempt basis, which means that they have to receive overtime pay whenever they exceed eight hours per day or forty hours per week.
The owners of Babu Ji have previously settled a similar lawsuit handled by D. Maimon Kirschenbaum, an employee rights attorney who is known as a persistent defender of the hospitality industry. The last time Babu Ji was sued by Mr. Kirschenbaum, the owners settled for more than $90,000. Other fancy NYC restaurants that have faced lawsuits handled by the law firm of Joseph & Kirschenbaum, LLP include The 21 Club and Le Bernardin.
In a Palm Beach magazine profile, Mr. Kirschenbaum was nicknamed the “restaurant killer” of the NYC gastronomical scene due to his determined and tireless approach to representing the best interests of his clients.