Chef Mario Batali, Partner to Pay $600,000 in Harassment Deal
(Bloomberg) -- Celebrity chef Mario Batali, his former business partner and their company will pay $600,000 to at least 20 former employees in a settlement of sexual harassment claims at their New York City restaurants.
Batali, Joe Bastianich and management company B&B Hospitality reached the deal after a four-year investigation into “a sexualized culture of misconduct and harassment” that included sexual comments and unwanted advances by managers and coworkers at Babbo, Lupa and the now-closed Del Posto restaurants, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Friday.
Female employees reported being forcibly groped, hugged and kissed by male employees. Batali himself made sexual comments to a female server and pulled her hand to his crotch, James said. In another incident Batali showed a pornographic video to an unwilling male server.
“Batali and Bastianich permitted an intolerable work environment and allowed shameful behavior that is inappropriate in any setting,” James said in the statement.
In addition to the payments to former employees, Batali, Bastianich and B&B must revise training materials in their restaurants and make twice-yearly reports to James’s office, according to the statement.
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