A group of Chinese employees who were fired from swank Midtown French-Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial are suing their former employer for discrimination and retaliation, alleging that their bosses forced them into a variety of unsavory work conditions.
The 13 former Le Colonial workers who filed suit claim they were "not allowed into air-conditioned areas during their breaks, and were restricted to one bathroom," and if they wanted a second meal break during their 10-hour shift in "excessive heat," they had to eat in the bathroom stall. One cook was told that his food was "cooked for animals," and a 61-year-old employee with a back problem was "forced to stand," according to the complaint.
Attorney Brian Shenker said that after the group "repeatedly" complained to the restaurant, they were fired on August 3rd. He said the restaurant "did not have a system" for handling discrimination complaints. The workers are also planning to file a federal lawsuit for wage violations, a move that echoes 2007's Saigon Grill lawsuit. We've reached out to Le Colonial and will update with any comment from the restaurant.