Back on Feb. 17, we brought you the story of a Las Vegas Strip restaurant and the lawsuit brought against it by two former bartenders, who contended that the restaurant's manager sexually harassed them. That litigation is now over after the restaurant, RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, reached a financial settlement with the plaintiffs. However, the restaurant now faces a new employment law-related suit over the way it has its wait staff pool their tips.
The prior litigation accused the manager, who has since left RM Seafood, of inappropriate touching and comments, including evaluating the bartenders' bodies and describing sex acts he wanted to perform with them. The plaintiffs said they had 11 witnesses set to testify that the manager also sexually harassed them. They also said that RM retaliated against their legal action by criticizing their performance, cutting their hours and firing one of them.
Terms of the settlement of that lawsuit, which also named the manager as a defendant, were not disclosed. The former manager denied sexually harassing "these or any women in my life." He suggested that the litigation was revenge from staff who did not like his strict management style.
The plaintiffs in the sexual harassment suit are also parties to a lawsuit that says RM illegally forced them to participate in a tip pool that "took money out of [their] pockets." In that lawsuit, the workers claim that the pool made them pay a percentage of their tips based on gross sales, including for items the customer did not tip on. Managers also collected a percentage of tips. The lawsuit says both of these factors violate state and federal law.
RM has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court. The judge had not ruled on the motion as of Aug. 28.
Source: Las Vegas Sun, "Celebrity chef Rick Moonen's restaurant settles harassment suit, now faces wage claim," Steve Green, Aug. 28, 2012