Millions of people across the country love watching their favorite chefs on television. One of the judges of the show “Chopped”, Scott Conant, is named as one of the defendants in a lawsuit filed by some of the current and former workers at the Scarpetta restaurants. The Italian eatery has locations in four states, including California. The defendants are being accused of wage theft and not paying the workers overtime.

The complaint against the defendants was filed on behalf of five of the employees. The lawsuit is seeking to be granted class-action status. Currently, there are 20 more workers who have already decided to join the complaint.

One of the plaintiffs explained how he would lose, on average, $50 each night from his tips because of the tipping system that was in place. According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the tips were added together and then distributed among all the workers in their pay checks. This caused the employees to make less than minimum wage. When he complained about the situation, he was allegedly terminated.

It is a best practice for workers in California and elsewhere to be mindful of the hours that they work, especially if those hours should result in overtime pay. A similarly situated worker who finds discrepancies in his or her pay should first discuss the matter with management in an attempt to have the errors corrected. If the worker is not then paid what he or she believes to be owed, he or she has the right to pursue legal action against his or her employer.

Source: New York Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity chef, Manhattan restaurant sued over low wages, owed pay“, Chris Sommerfeldt and Stephen Rex Brown, June 12, 2015