This ad on Craigslist caught our eye yesterday: Patina Group Restaurants former or current employees wanted:
We are seeking current or former Patina restaurant group servers, bussers, kitchen personnel and bartenders for a unique opportunity. It doesn't matter if you left on bad terms. Please email which restaurant you worked for, when you worked there, and your current status for immediate consideration.The "doesn't matter if you left on bad terms" is a red flag, so we asked one of our friends, a former Patina employee to investigate. After answering the ad, the Patina staffer, who we'll call PS for sake of anonymity, got the response:
"I am an attorney working on a case against the Patina Group for missed 4, 6 and 8 hour breaks. If my case is successful against them, all the employees who missed breaks in the last 4 years will get paid. Did you miss any breaks when you worked there?"The ex-emp's response: "Did I ever!" PS said staffers were regularly asked to sign forms that said they took breaks, and if they didn't, they couldn't get their checks. "It happened all the time, and when one girl refused she got a warning and written up. I remember when they passed the new law and our managers made us clock out but we still had to work." Hefty claims indeed. The whole thing is a bit shady considering the ad also says "resume helpful but not required" and "Compensation: Very good." But in light of Daniel Boulud settling a bias lawsuit this week, and former employees are suing Jean-Georges Vongerichten for unpaid wages, this doesn't come as a shock. Reps for the Patina Group say they haven't heard anything about a lawsuit, so they have no comment about it. At least for now.
· Patina Group Restaurants former or current employees wanted [Craigslist]
· New York Chef Settles Bias Lawsuit [NYT]
· Famed N.Y. chef sued for skimpy wages [NY Daily News]