Wigdor LLP has filed a lawsuit against Jewel Restaurant, its parent company Rubie’s Costume Co., and former executive chef Michael Ross, on behalf of former server Faith Sunshine Cardino, alleging sexual assault, harassment and retaliation. The Complaint, filed in federal court on December 16, 2016, alleges that Mr. Ross subjected Ms. Cardino to a campaign of sexual harassment that culminated in an incident in December 2015, during which Mr. Ross snuck up behind Ms. Cardino at work, grabbed her from behind against her will and began rubbing his crotch against her backside. Ms. Cardino, who was reduced to tears by the frightening incident, immediately reported what happened to a manager. However, Jewel Restaurant and Rubie’s Costume Co., failed to protect her or punish Mr. Ross. Instead, Company management began a campaign of retaliation aimed at forcing Ms. Cardino to quit her job, including removing her from the work schedule and warning other employees against asking Ms. Cardino to cover their shifts. Within weeks of reporting the sexual attack, Jewel Restaurant and Rubie’s terminated Ms. Cardino’s employment, and offered her $100 to keep quiet.
The Complaint further alleges unlawful wage practices committed by Jewel Restaurant against service staff, including failing to pay them minimum wage, overtime wages, or even all tips that should have gone to them. On January 6, 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against Jewel Restaurant on behalf of all current and former service employees for such wage violations. Anyone with questions about these cases and/or your or others’ rights in such matters may contact Wigdor LLP attorneys Lawrence M. Pearson, Tanvir H. Rahman or Hilary J. Orzick.