No Star Treatment for Celebrity’s Employees

Abendbrot restaurant salad, by pixabay user RestaurantAnticaRoma, licensed by Creative Commons.

Here’s a tip: keep your employees happy

Actress Jessica Biel has played many roles on the big screen, but she is now playing a very different part – that of defendant.

Recently, nine employees accused the Hollywood star and her business partners, including Estee Stanley, Joey Gonzalez, Kimberly Muller, and Jonathan Rollo, of withholding gratuity that they were legally entitled to collect.  The employees, who were mostly former employees, are suing Biel and Au Fudge for fraud, stealing employee gratuities, and other damages. Plaintiffs contend that the owners pocketed gratuity collected at private events, which reached over $430,000. Additionally, plaintiffs claim to be victims of other illegal payroll practices, including not receiving compensation for overtime work and other wage withholdings. The disgruntled employees also accuse the restaurant owners of denying them meal and rest breaks that they were legally entitled to. Read more

FDA and USDA Employees Finally Receive Basic Right

cow by Flickr User twicepix, licensed by Creative Commons

       Soon to be food

Some government employees are finally allowed to exercise the right to voice their concerns in a consequence free environment now that President Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA).  This act will help resolve the issue of the FDA and USDA intimidating their employees to keep their concerns quiet.  Since employees of these government agencies feared retaliation for speaking out against their employer, many have sat idly by while they believed public health was at risk.  The consequence of demotion, firing, or relocation was enough for employees to keep their opposition to themselves.  However, the WPEA has now been signed and FDA and USDA employees are officially free to voice their concerns to supervisors without the possibility of unfair retaliation.  This is a step in the right direction for honest and healthy working conditions in an industry that has a big impact on the food we eat.

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