Ex-Employees Cook Up Lawsuit for Mario Batali

Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 11:16 AM EDT
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Ex-Employees Cook Up Lawsuit for Mario Batali

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NEW YORK - JUNE 15: Chef Mario Batali prepares several dishes for the crowd at the world premiere of Volkswagen's new Jetta compact sedan at Times Square on June 15, 2010 in New York City.

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Celebrity chef Mario Batali is now being served -- with a class-action lawsuit.

Two ex-employees of Batali's Babbo restaurant in Greenwich Village claim that the former "Iron Chef" cheated them out of part of their paychecks.

Former waitress Stephanie Capsolas and kitchen runner Hernan Ricardo Alvarado say that they didn't receive some wages and overtime pay, and were forced to split their tips with other employees who weren't entitled to them.

The lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court against Batali and co-owner Joseph Bastianich, son of TV chef Lidia Bastianich, seeks unspecified damages for Capsolas and Alvarado and all "similarly situated" co-workers at Babbo, the New York Post reports.

A Babbo restaurant representative told the Post that Batali was out of town and unavailable for comment.

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