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Feb 4, 2009 05:00 AM

Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me

Are All Restaurants Lousy Employers?

I write this in the wake of Monday’s decision by Judge Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia refusing to dismiss the complaint by current and former employees of Galileo and BEBO Trattoria. Among the allegations: that paychecks frequently bounced, were void or were unreasonably hard to cash; that female employees were paid less than their male counterparts; that employees were not paid overtime; and that employees were sometimes paid less than minimum wage. (C.A. No. 08-00621-RCL -- the documents in the case are all public record and, with luck, I have attached the decision correctly.) While I have no direct knowledge of the facts of this case or the truth of the specific allegations (which remain to be proven in court), they do jibe with my understanding of restaurant life in general.

Anyone out there have any special restaurant/food service horror stories they would like to share?

Also, was the thread title reference too obscure?

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    1. Not restaurants specifically, though I've worked for a few chefs who I enjoyed envisioning someplace very warm.

      1. Not obscure at all, no. Probably one of the best known rock songs ever.
        As for the restaurant question, absolutely not. Quite a leap to connect a few lawsuits you hear about to assuming all of the thousands of restaurants in this country are bad employers.

        1. Lots of restaurants (esp. national chains) are notorious for some of their, ahem, "employment practices".

          Heck, in one very well publicized case invovling Cheesecake Factory an employee alleged that he was sexually harrassed by his gay supervisors.

          But really, it's not just limited to restuarants. Lots of companies have employment issues - it's sort of a fact of life, unfortunately.

          1. There are good, honest restaurant employers that treat their staff well. And there are those with no regard for anyone but themselves and their bottom line. I believe you will find this true in any industry.

            My favorite restaurant boss was one who on a very slow day got down on his hands and knees and started scrubbing baseboards. When I offered to help, he refused. He said he couldn't let me do that when I was making $2/hour.