Employees Sue Bobby Flay Over Tips, Overtime

Daily News - Thomas Zambito
January 16, 2009

Add Bobby Flay to the growing list of celebrity restaurateurs accused of cheating their employees out of tips and overtime.

Flay’s company was hit with a wage and labor violations lawsuit Friday in Manhattan Federal Court by three servers at Flay’s Bar Americain on W. 52nd St.

The lawsuit also claims Flay forced workers to buy and launder their own uniforms and refused to give them a share of mandatory tips charged to private party tabs.

Named [in the suit] are the Bar Americain, Mesa Grills in New York and Las Vegas, the Bobby Flay Steakhouse at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City as well as the defunct Bolo.

The workers’ attorney, Justin M. Swartz, is hoping to sign up others who’ve worked at Flay locations dating back to 2003 for a class-action lawsuit.

Flay is an award-winning chef, cookbook author and host of “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network. He joins Robert DeNiro, Justin Timberlake and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio as some of the celebrities who’ve been hit with similar claims.