Celebrity chef David Burke, who is most famous for appearing on Iron Chef America, has been served with an employee lawsuit. Burke is not the first celebrity chef to be sued by a former employee, nor will he be the last. This suit is unique, however, since it seems Burke may have blatantly violated federal labor laws.
More often than not, when a celebrity is sued or does the suing, there are bizarre allegations that connect obscure statutes to a possible violation (see our lawsuit against Beyonce here https://aegislawfirm.com/inmate-claims-hes-drunk-love/). This suit seems pretty clear cut.
Former employee, Ibrahima Kaba from the Bronx, worked at David Burke's “David Burke Townhouse” restaurant since June of 2012. Kaba, a Muslim, disclosed to management upon employment that he could not work Fridays because he needed to conduct his Friday prayers. Management, allegedly, said that would not be an issue.
Within weeks of employment, Kaba was scheduled to work on the Fridays he had previously requested off. So, instead of trying to take the whole day off, Kaba requested to take a long break so he could attend his Friday prayers. The manager refused to allow him to leave and was terminated two months later. According to the complaint, Kaba also observed other Muslim employees being “denied the right to attend the Friday noon prayer…even when they express the need to do so.”
The suit states Burke's businesses “subject [Muslims workers] to discrimination on the basis of their religion.” Said employees are “retaliated against” for attempting to practice. Burke's other restaurants and ventures, including Bloomingdale's, were also mentioned in the suit.
Source: NY Post