Jessica Biel and the co-owners of her restaurant Au Fudge have been sued by nine employees for allegedly cheating them out of tips.
The Total Recall actress has been named in a lawsuit filed alongside the co-owners of the kid-friendly restaurant in Hollywood, which opened early last year (16), by employees who claim they collected almost half a million dollars in gratuities from their private events and didn’t pass them along to the staff who had direct contact with the customers.
In court documents obtained by The Blast, the workers claim they never received any money for working the private events or buyouts, when restaurant closes to the public to cater for a function, although customers are charged 22 per cent on their bill.
The employees aren’t just taking issue with the handling of tips, but a series of grievances, according to editors at E! News, who also obtained the court documents.
“Each of them had their gratuities wrongfully converted and were improperly denied meal and rest breaks, overtime compensation and earned wages under various illegal payroll practices,” the plaintiffs alleged.
“Defendants charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in gratuities to private-party customers and converted said gratuities to themselves in order to pad their own pockets and deprive plaintiffs their just compensation in violation of law.”
The employees, who are requesting a jury trial, believe they lost out on around $430,000 in gratuities and $31,500 in missed rest breaks, and are seeking a further $1 million in punitive damages against Jessica and co-owners chef Jonathan Rollo and his partner Joey Gonzalez, chief executive of Barry’s Bootcamp, stylist Estee Stanley, Kimberly Muller, author of the Au Fudge kids’ book, and Monica Saunders-Weinberg, daughter of the founder of Westfield Shopping Centers.
Their lawyer told E! News, “The Company does not comment on pending litigation and has not had an opportunity to review the Complaint, but looks forward to defending itself in Court.”