Celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich have made a deal to pay $600,000 to at least 20 former employees, following complaints about workplace culture.
Batali (The Chew) and Bastianich (MasterChef) engaged in “unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation” at their restaurant companies, which violates state and city human rights laws, according to a July 23 press release from New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The chefs, their management company B&B Hospitality and their restaurants (Babbo, Lupa and Del Posto) made an agreement with the Attorney General for allegedly fostering a “hostile work environment” at their restaurants in New York City, which “permitted a sexualized culture of misconduct and harassment,” per the AG.
The New York Attorney General’s office said it began investigating Batali, 60, after sexual harassment allegations were made against him in 2017. “The allegations reported unwanted touching, sexual advances and explicit comments made by managers and coworkers to other employees of the restaurants,” the press release states.