Willie Degal, Food Network’s celebrity restauranteur, is settling a wage theft lawsuit filed against his restaurants in Bayside, Queens, Midtown, and New York City. Degal, owner of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse, will have to pay out $900,000 for the settlement. The lawsuit was filed by employees of the restaurant, alleging that they weren’t paid a legal minimum wage, that they weren’t paid for overtime, and that they weren’t reimbursed for their uniforms or care of their uniforms.
Willie Degal was featured on five seasons of Restaurant Stakeout, one of the first non-studio shows on Food Network. On the show, Degal went behind the scenes of restaurants with hidden cameras hoping to find food service problems and management issues.
This isn’t the first time Degal has been in trouble with the law. In 2012, Degal was sued by his former housekeeper of three years for not paying her for all of the hours she worked. His housekeeper, Ana Jiminex, claimed that she worked 70 hours a week and only received a flat weekly rate that averaged far below minimum wage.
What do you think of another famous high end restaurant being accused of not paying minimum wages?
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*image by waferboard, Flickr
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