There's a new group of servers accusing a restaurant of paying sub-minimum wages - former employees of the two upscale Mr. Chow locations. One of the servers also accuses restaurateur Michael Chow of kicking him in the stomach! The three filed a lawsuit yesterday in Manhattan Federal Court.
Costin Dumitrescu, who had worked at Mr. Chow for 11 years, says that when he arrived to a meeting late, he was forced to lie down on the floor. The lawsuit states:
"Michael Chow periodically walked up to Dumitrescu as he lay on the floor, and pretended to kick Dumitrescu in order to make Dumitrescu flinch in fear. On a few occasions, Michael Chow actually kicked Dumitrescu while he was lying on the ground, albeit not with full force."
Other alleged "abusive management techniques" per WNBC: "tapping or 'lightly' slapping a waiter's chin or back of the head to get his attention, scribbling with a pen on the formal uniforms of staffers, ordering Dumitrescu to sweep cigarette butts from city streets outside the Tribeca restaurant and repeatedly yelling 'Are you with me?' at his waiters." Hmm, the sweeping and yelling don't sound particularly abusive, but the pen scribbling is bad, considering that the suit also alleges that the servers had to buy their own $350 jackets.
The servers are looking for $5 million in damages. Other fights between servers and management: Saigon Grill and Ollie's workers claim that they are paid sub-minimum wages and have been picketing outside locations, and Telepan servers say that managers are taking their tips.