From the secret black cards to getting away with airplane hissy fits to skipping the line at art shows—don't celebrities get enough perks? According to a new lawsuit, chef Philippe Chow doesn't think so. And that's why he's allegedly allowed celebrities to get nice and baked in the basement of his popular Philippe Restaurant.
Four current and former workers at the restaurant have sued Chow for forcing them to serve the pot smoking glitterati—no one is accused directly of being a marijuana enthusiast, but rappers Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross were both namechecked as two celebrities given special treatment. The workers also claim that the managers threatened them and cut their hours, making it impossible to work there. Here's an excerpt from the lawsuit, via Eater:
Defendants regularly reserved private seating in the basement of the restaurant for wealthy customers and celebrities such as rappers Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj...Patrons dining in the basement would frequently receive permission from managers...to smoke marijuana in the restaurant. Plaintiffs regularly served these customers, which exposed them to smoke from a harmful and illegal substance.
One employee claims he was fired after complaining to management about not being able to breathe around the pot smoke, and smelling like pot when he went home after a shift. Other employees say they lost shifts, tips, and were denied overtime in retaliation for joining the lawsuit. CEO Stratis Morfogen told The Braiser that the suit was a “form of extortion,” insisting, “We do not allow smoking of legal cigarettes in our restaurants, so obviously we strongly deny these ridiculous accusations.”