A former food runner and barback has sued the operators of Central Park restaurant The Loeb Boathouse over claims of wage infractions and harassment.
The complaint says that during his tenure, the plaintiff routinely clocked over 40 hours—and sometimes up to 91 hours—each week for an hourly rate between $5.25 and $8.96. The man alleges he was often required to work beyond his scheduled shift for no additional compensation and that his wages were subject to deductions for breaks he did not take. These practices caused the plaintiff’s effective rate of pay to fall below the lawful minimum wage and tip-credit rate, according to the suit. Additionally, the lawsuit notes that the worker should have received at least the full minimum wage as he was never properly informed that tips were being used to offset his hourly wage.
Moreover, the case goes on to assert that the plaintiff faced discrimination and harassment based on his national origin, gender and sex. The man claims his bosses regularly hit him and made sexual comments and advances while he performed his job. The suit also details one occasion when the restaurant’s manager allegedly commented on the plaintiff’s canceled travel plans. From the complaint:
“When [the plaintiff] told [his manager] that the trip was cancelled, [his manager] told him ‘oh, so you’re not going to Mexico? Because I know of ICE’s and Trump’s offices on 5th Avenue that can take you back to Mexico quickly.’
[The plaintiff] considered this comment was [sic] very inappropriate, harassing and discriminatory; especially because [his manager] made such comment at lunchtime in front of other employees and coworkers, who laughed at [the plaintiff] and made fun of him.”
All told, the plaintiff argues that his abusive work environment and improper compensation “caused him serious mental and emotional distress.”