A former Monkey Bar food runner is suing owner Graydon Carter for unpaid wages and damages. Lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum, whom you may recognize from his previous court appearances against Sirio Maccioni, John DeLucie, Mario Batali, and many, many more, is on the case against the Vanity Fair editor. Carter has owned the restaurant for five years and is named as the defendant in the suit, along with Monkey Bar L.P.
Plaintiff Samuel Jude Prabir, who is Bengali, alleges he was paid less than minimum wage for the duration of his employment at Monkey Bar, which lasted from January through last month. Prabir claims that "more than 20%" of his time at the restaurant was devoted to performing "non-tipped work," like polishing silverware and portioning sauces in the kitchen. What’s more, the suit also states that Prabir was subjected to constant harassment from kitchen staff, including the restaurant’s chefs, and that Monkey Bar’s management "did nothing to stop it."
Prabir alleges that he and two other Bengali employees were the targets of regular discrimination, such as not being allowed to partake in shift meal. He claims he was fired a day after voicing concerns about the way he was being treated and is now seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.
This appears to be the third time that Samuel Prabir has been represented by Maimon Kirschenbaum in similar court cases during the past three years: He was the plaintiff in a Fair Labor Standards Act–related lawsuit against One If by Land, Two If by Sea earlier this year and was part of a class action lawsuit against the chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud in 2011.