Former pastry chef sues Mario Batali, says he was subjected to anti-gay slurs
A pasty chef formerly working at Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s New York City restaurant Babbo has sued for discrimination.
Isaac Franco Nava, who is out as gay and of Mexican descent, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday.
It accuses managers at the upscale Greenwich Village restaurant of calling him “stupid Mexican”, as well as the Spanish anti-gay slur “pajaro”, “girly” and a “faggot”.
It names Babbo LLC, the manager Adam Onady, workers Kevin Herbert and Juan Flores, B&B Hospitality Group LLC and Pasta Resouces Inc.
The lawsuit states that after four months of the alleged abuse, Franco had complained to the head pasty chef and human resources at Batali’s corporate office.
It says that the managers were disciplined, but that the abuse started again in June 2016.
But going on it says that the complaints didn’t lead to any further action being taken.
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Franco alleges that by April this year managers had conspired to have him sacked.
He says he was given a raw pork chop to take home for dinner but that the next day he got fired fors stealing it.
The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages and Batali is also named in the suit.
“Babbo Restaurant and its owners and managers have failed to provide a safe work environment for our client,” says Franco’s lawyer, Eric M. Baum of Eisenberg & Baum, LLP in a statement to Eater.
“Isaac is a proud member of the gay community and to be harassed profusely because of his sexual orientation, is completely unacceptable. Babbo has turned its head away from the extreme harassment experienced by Isaac only to fire him when he complained of it. No persons should ever have to go through what our client went through. Babbo’s company culture on how it treats its gay and Hispanic employees is disturbing. No employee should ever be subjected to this type of mistreatment.”
The Batali corporate team has not yet commented on the lawsuit.