Out NYC Hotel owners Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass – who faced a backlash in April after hosting an intimate “fireside chat” with anti-gay Senator Ted Cruz – are facing employee lawsuits based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Out NYC Hotel owners Ian Reisner (below right) and Mati Weiderpass – who faced a backlash in April after hosting an intimate "fireside chat" with anti-gay Senator Ted Cruz – are facing employee lawsuits based on sexual orientation and gender identity, reports The Advocate.
Four former and current employees claim KTCHN and XL Nightclub – both located within Out NYC – in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards and New York City and state law, failed to pay for overtime work and withheld part of their tips.
They allege that the discrimination began when a KTCHN manager implemented a new policy on attire and grooming. The policy reads:
“Attire/Grooming — Please come to work properly dressed and be prepared to start your shift when you clock in. If you do not have proper attire i.e. black uniform shirt or black apron, they can be purchased in the office, BUT do not allow this to become a trend. Also, please keep excessive makeup and nail polish to a minimum gentlemen. The only acceptable time for gentlemen to wear makeup or nail polish will be for Sunday Brunch during Haus of Mimosa.”
The suit alleges that the policy caused Shorter and Stress to suffer “severe mental anguish and emotional distress, including, but not limited to, depression, humiliation, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, and emotional pain and suffering.”
It also claims that “KTCHN’s management unlawfully pooled and distributed the accumulated credit card tips from each shift to KTCHN wait staff solely at the discretion of the on-duty KTCHN manager.” Additionally, it alleges that staff weren’t paid overtime, or time and a half, when their work exceeded 40 hours a week.
Reisner has admitted to making a donation to the Cruz campaign despite previously denying such claims.
KTCHN and XL have not responded to The Advocate’s request for comments.
In case you're not up to speed on Reisner and Weiderpass's meeting with Ted Cruz, check out a report, AFTER THE JUMP… (warning: auto-play)
Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers who hosted Cruz, said no checks were cut to the Senator. Not true http://t.co/M5biQNv1eM
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 29, 2015