Graham Elliot may be soaking up the rays in California while filming season three of MasterChef, but things just got a little gloomy here in Chicago. Gregory Curtis, a former server at Elliot's namesake Michelin-starred River North restaurant, filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois alleging he was denied minimum wage while working at the restaurant.
In addition, Curtis said he was made to share tips with other employees who normally wouldn't receive tips through an employee tip sharing pool. The server said that GE also benefitted from paying employees less than minimum wage. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer can pay someone less than minimum wage if they receive tips and then can take a "tip credit." The tip credit allows employers to include the employees earned tips as part of their total wages. However, they must disclose this practice to the employee. The suit seeks back pay plus interest. When contacted by Eater, Elliot had no comment.
· Former Waiter Sues Chef Graham Elliot Bowles [~EChi~]