Salt Bae Hit with Labor Lawsuits Citing Workplace Discrimination
Nusr-et Gökçe, popularly identified as Salt Bae, is known for his unique aesthetics and cuisine at Nusr-Et Steakhouse. But his restaurant is not so appealing as more victims come forward to reveal the discrimination happening behind closed doors. Most recently, two ex-employees are pursuing over one million in damages. The lawsuits alleged employers had discriminated against non-Turkish employees.
According to Eater New York, one account reveals employee Angelo Maher felt inadequate by waiting on the “less lucrative” tables. Non-favored employees were often given smaller roles and positions at the upscale eatery. And unlike hired Turkish workers, he was never notified of how the restaurant negotiates tips at the end of each workday.
Whether he lived in New York or California, a workplace discrimination lawyer would tell you this is a common issue within the food industry. Tips must always be allocated properly and distributed evenly if the employer allows for tip pooling. At the time, he had to give up his earnings after a memorable night servicing producer/musician French Montana. When he addressed concerns with an employer, it left him with fewer shifts, two cases of physical harm when his manager slapped him, and ultimately wrongful termination.
Elizabeth Cruz, another employee (Dominican), addressed hints of gender discrimination and bias. Her role as a bartender came with racist remarks from staff and a sexualized request from her boss. In 2019, she was asked to change her uniform into “a short skirt, high-heels and a revealing top,” according to sources. Like Maher, when she spouted her complaints and asked to wear her regular uniform, it got her fired.
This appears to be a bad case of management within Salt Bae’s steakhouse, and there is much to be done to rectify the lawsuits of employees who’ve come forward. The restaurant industry is known for its challenging nature. When cases like the ones listed above arise, it’s best to reach out to a workplace lawyer to begin recording evidence and bring a claim against the company.