It was only recently that we heard about celebrity chef Tom Colicchio being accused of stiffing his employees. Now, it seems that it is another celebrity chef’s turn. This time, it is Bobby Flay who is in the sights of critics and people who want to bring him down.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court by current and former employees, names as a defendant Bold Food LLC. The company owns or operates Bar Americain and Mesa Grill NYC in Manhattan. Other restaurants are in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
The lawsuit claims Flay’s company violated the wage and hour laws by engaging in improper tip-pooling practices. It also says the company failed to pay proper overtime pay and failed to reimburse employees for some expenses.
A spokesman for Flay and the restaurants did not immediately return a telephone message for comment on Friday.
It’s one of a string of similar lawsuits filed on behalf of employees of New York restaurants.
There is no definitive information as to whether or not there is substantial proof that Chef Bobby Flay is indeed guilty of the charges. I don’t know which other restaurants in New York are facing the same charges but it seems that this is an organized thing, targeting high profile restaurateurs. In any case, if there is one result of all this publicity, it is that the chefs being targeted are getting free press coverage. Of course, if they are convicted, it is another story.