Mustafa Fteja v. Nusret New York d/b/a “Nusr-et Steak House” and Nusret Gokce a/k/a “The Salt Bae”

  • Posted on: Feb 26 2019
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On January 15, 2019, Lipsky Lowe filed a putative class action and collective action complaint against Nusret New York d/b/a “Nusr-et Steak House” and Nusret Gokce a/k/a “The Salt Bae.”  The lawsuit is on behalf of Mustafa Fteja and all other waiters who have worked at the restaurant in the past 6 years.

The lawsuit asserts, among others, the following allegations:

  • The restaurant had an illegal tip pool consisting of: waiters, bartenders, baristas, hosts, hostesses, busy boys, sommeliers, sushi makers and managers. It is illegal because baristas and sushi makers do not engage in or interact with customers; and because managers, with supervisory authority, are included in the tip pool
  • The restaurant deducts 3% from the tip pool regardless if the tips were paid with cash or credit card
  • The restaurant automatically charges an 18% gratuity and customers regularly add a tip above and beyond that 18%. The restaurant retained the gratuities the customers paid above the 18%
  • The restaurant paid the waiters below the minimum wage, as it was taking a “tip credit” and paying the at the “tipped minimum wage”
  • Because of the illegal tip pool, the tip credit is invalid and the restaurant must pay the waiters at the minimum wage
  • Waiters regularly worked more than 40 hours

The lawsuit asserts the following claims on behalf of the putative class and collective action members:

  • Failure to pay the minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law
  • Failure to pay overtime premium pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law
  • Unlawfully retained gratuities under the New York Labor Law
  • Failure to provide the Notice and Acknowledgement of Pay Rate and Payday under N.Y. Lab. Law 195.1(a)
  • Failure to provide a proper wage statement with every wage payment under N.Y. Lab. Law 195.3

Current status:

  • The lawsuit was filed on January 15, 2019

This update is current as of February 8, 2019. Please contact Douglas Lipsky at doug@lipskylowe.com or 212.518.1264 if you have any questions about this case.

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