Justin Timberlake's NY restaurant sued over wages

Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:13pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Justin Timberlake's New York restaurant has cheated staff out of tips, proper pay and overtime, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday.

A busboy who worked at the restaurant for a year from June 2007 filed the suit on behalf of 50 other employees. It accuses Timberlake, two of his business partners and managers of Southern Hospitality BBQ restaurant in Manhattan of stealing tips and not paying the minimum wage or overtime.

It was the latest suit to be filed by workers over wages against New York restaurants and clubs, with businesses owned by actor Robert De Niro and hip hop star Jay Z also hit by legal action.

The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks unspecified damages. It also names Timberlake's business partners Eytan Sugarman and Trace Ayala as fellow owners and as running the operations of the BBQ eatery.

Among those named in other suits are celebrity haunt Pastis; three New York restaurants co-owned by actor Robert De Niro in the global Nobu chain; Jean Georges -- which has three Michelin stars -- and other restaurants owned by French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten; and Jay Z's 40/40 Club.

Earlier this year, Vongerichten agreed to pay $1.75 million to eight waiters who filed suit on behalf of all staff at Jean Georges and four of his other New York restaurants.

Southern Hospitality did not return a call seeking comment.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Peter Cooney)

<p>Justin Timberlake poses for a photo during a news conference at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus</p>