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Two former employees at Salt Bae's Nusr-Et Steakhouse in New York have filed lawsuits against the company claiming that they were discriminated against.
The two employees have sued for $500,000 each over claims they were treated differently because they were not Turkish, as well as mentioning other incidents in which they claim to have been manhandled by senior staff and told to lie about whether the food was halal.
Angelo Maher started working at Nusr-Et in 2017 as a waiter and claims that he was positioned in the quieter parts of the restaurant, and he and other non-Turkish staff members were not told about the process by which tips were divided up.
He claims that he was forced to give up his tips, including after serving famous acquaintances of Salt Bae such as musician French Montana.
Maher also claims that when he confronted a manager about it, they responded: "Stop with this tip-pool stuff cause I'm telling you, you are on your final warning, just stay neutral."
He claims that Turkish staff were treated more favourably and protected by senior staff regardless of their performance or service.
He also alleges in the lawsuit that he was made to pay for mistakes on orders from his own pocket, whereas Turkish members of staff were not.
The lawsuit also states that Maher was told to lie about the food being halal, 'despite the fact that this claim was not true'.
After he raised his concerns to Human Resources in 2019, he claims he was shunted to less lucrative parts of the premises, and even sent home early from shifts.
On two occasions he says he was physically manhandled by staff, including one alleged incident where his manager slapped him.
He was fired in March 2020.
Bartender Elizabeth Cruz, the second former employee to file a lawsuit, says she was sexualised after starting in 2019, being told to change into 'a short skirt, high-heels and a revealing top'.
She claims that one member of staff told her: "My wife is Dominican, I know how you women are."
The suit claims that the staff member was 'suggesting that Ms. Cruz was sexually promiscuous due to her heritage.'
The lawsuit states that Cruz then asked if she could return to wearing the normal uniform because she felt degraded, but she was then sacked a few days later.
LADbible has attempted to contact Nusr-Et for a comment on the matter.
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