When actress Jessica Biel first launched Au Fudge, it was with the intention of providing a truly child-friendly dining experience. While that plan may be working out for Biel and the parents that her business caters to, Au Fudge employees are feeling less than thrilled with the business. They’re claiming that Jessica and her restaurant partners have been cheating them out of their tips.
Jessica Biel Faces Lawsuit Over Au Fudge Tipping Scandal
The West Hollywood restaurant owned by Jessica Biel is facing legal trouble with a group of current and former employees launching a lawsuit. The suit is an effort to get back money the group says Au Fudge owners took from them through unlawful conversion and fraud. According to court documents recently followed by the group’s attorneys, tips weren’t the only problems.
“Each of them had their gratuities wrongfully converted and were improperly denied meal and rest breaks, overtime compensation and earned wages under various illegal payroll practices,” reports the documents.
Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Au Fudge restaurant owners charged private parties “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for tips and gratuities. That money was then transferred to the owners without ever being shared with employees responsible for providing service to those customers.
Jessica Biel And Au Fudge Keep Their Remarks Brief
Lawyers for Ms. Biel and Au Fudge have been asked for comments on the lawsuit, but the parties involved have declined to comment. A statement was issued, but it doesn’t address the specifics of the case. Instead, it emphasized that Au Fudge management wouldn’t publicly respond to the charges.
“The Company does not comment on pending litigation and has not had an opportunity to review the Complaint, but looks forward to defending itself in Court.”
Meanwhile, one former Au Fudge manager has stepped up in support of the plaintiffs. He revealed that Au Fudge’s business model stresses a reliance on private parties and buyouts. Private events can cost customers anything up to $10,000, while buyouts are larger events for which the restaurant typically charges $100,000 or more.
The complaint filed with the courts allege that Au Fudge owes the group $150,000 in gratuities, just from smaller private events. Factoring in the tips owed from buyouts, the plaintiffs are seeking a total return of $430,000 for damages. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial in the lawsuit.
Au Fudge opened for business in March 2016.