U.S. Capital

Manhattan Restaurant Sued for Cheating Employees

Jan 25, 2019

New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 25, 2019 – “Salt Bae,” a restaurant on West 53rd Street, known as much for its social media celebrities as for its steak, has been accused of taking advantage of its workers by not paying appropriate overtime wages, withholding tips, and denying meal breaks.

A former waiter at the restaurant is being represented by the well-known Manhattan employment law firm of Lipsky Lowe LLP in a lawsuit filed recently against Nusr-Et Gökçe, the owner of Salt Bae. Gökçe has an international chain of steakhouses, popular in part due to Instagram videos that went viral. On the videos, he is seen sensually slapping salt onto a steak.

In the recently filed lawsuit, Mustafa Fteja, an ex-server at Salt Bae, states that his employer cheated workers in a number of ways. Fteja, who worked in Salt Bae in 2018 alleges that, in addition to being cheated, he was fired as retaliation for complaining to management that he had not received all of his tips.

Douglas Lipsky, the attorney handling the case, filed suit on Fteja’s behalf in Manhattan Federal Court, seeking class-action status for violations of state and federal labor laws, declaring, “This suit reflects restaurants that too often take advantage of their employees by failing to pay them proper wages. It doesn’t matter how you sprinkle salt on a steak, you have to pay your workers properly.”

According to the former waiter, there is a high turnover at Salt Bae because the staff is routinely asked to work over 50 hours a week without being paid overtime. A general manager for the restaurant declined to comment.