In Touch (USA) - - Splitnews -

Bosses from hell? Jes­sica Biel and her busi­ness part­ners at the West Hol­ly­wood eatery Au Fudge are be­ing sued by nine cur­rent and for­mer em­ploy­ees who ac­cuse them of cheat­ing their work­ers out of $430,000 in tips. “The staff earned that money and are owed it,” Keith David­son, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the plain­tiffs, tells In Touch. In court doc­u­ments, the nine em­ploy­ees claim the ac­tress, 35, and her part­ners “wrong­fully con­verted” the 22 per­cent gra­tu­ity charge from pri­vate party events held at Au Fudge “in or­der to pad their own pock­ets and de­prive plain­tiffs their just com­pen­sa­tion in vi­o­la­tion of law.” The pa­pers also al­lege that the em­ploy­ees “were im­prop­erly de­nied meal and rest breaks, over­time com­pen­sa­tion and earned wages un­der var­i­ous il­le­gal pay­roll prac­tices.” The em­ploy­ees are seek­ing $430,100 in gra­tu­ities from the events, $31,549 in missed breaks and no less than $1 mil­lion in puni­tive dam­ages. But ac­cord­ing to Jesse M. Caryl, le­gal coun­sel for Au Fudge, Jes­sica and her part­ners are pre­pared to fight. “The Com­pany and its in­vestors strongly dis­pute the al­le­ga­tions raised in the com­plaint,” he tells In Touch. “While the Com­pany will not lit­i­gate the mat­ter in the me­dia, it looks for­ward to vig­or­ously de­fend­ing it­self be­fore the court.” Still, the law­suit is a blow to the 7th Heaven alum, who opened the kid-friendly restau­rant with her part­ners in 2016, a source tells In Touch: “This is a very tough time for Jes­sica be­cause it’s her name that’s on the line.”

“[We’re] def­i­nitely not mak­ing money,” Jes­sica said in Jan­uary of Au Fudge, months be­fore the law­suit was filed. “No­body’s mak­ing money in the restau­rant busi­ness, in my ex­pe­ri­ence — at least not yet.” THE SHOCK­ING PA­PERS

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