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MAR
9
3 YEARS

'The Chew's' Mario Batali to Pay $5.25 Million in Lawsuit by Restaurant Employees

The celebrity chef and restaurateur settled with staffers who claimed he illegally pilfered from their tip jars.

Mario Batali
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Mario Batali, co-host of ABC's The Chew and owner of restaurants across the country, will pay a $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit alleging he helped himself to more than his fair share of employee tips.

The lawsuit against Batali and New York-based business partner Joseph Bastianich was filed in 2010 on behalf of 1,000-plus waiters, captains, busboys, bartenders and other staffers. According to The New York Times, the class-action settlement still needs a judge's stamp of approval.

Former staffers claimed Batali and Bastianich enforced a policy where they pocked between 4 to 5 percent of tips from wine sales. They had been told that money deducted went to research wines and replace broken glasses but there were no findings to support that assertion.

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"The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," said a joint statement from attorneys for the employees and Batali.

The red-haired chef, who has a penchant for wearing orange Crocs, is a partner in New York's Eataly, as well as the owner of the city's Babbo, Bar Jamon and Otto, among other culinary hotspots. He recently went road-tripping through Spain with pal Gwyneth Paltrow for the PBS series On the Road Again.

He recently got in a bit of trouble for comparing Wall Street bankers to Hitler and Stalin, shortly thereafter issuing an apology amid a boycott of his restaurants.