We reported yesterday that Top Chef judge and Craft founder Tom Colicchio is facing a labor violations and sexual harassment lawsuit from two female former employees who worked as delivery drivers at ‘wichcraft in Queens. Today, Colicchio responded to these allegations, telling The Daily Meal, “We take the allegations seriously, and we will cooperate, but we believe there is no problem here.”
In the lawsuit, ‘wichcraft is described as a “boys’ club,” and one of the plaintiffs alleged that her bosses turned a blind eye in August after a male co-worker took a video of her changing into her uniform in a locker room.
To the allegations, Colicchio told The Daily Meal that,“The complaint mentions a co-employee taking photos of the employee in question in the locker room and that evidence was deleted. Well, when it happened, the employee was fired immediately, which we thought was the smart thing to do, and we deleted the photos. We didn’t think it was a prudent thing to have the guy walk around with the photos with the possibility of leaking them. As for the other allegation of a boys’ club, we have 34 managers at ‘wichcraft, 16 of whom are women. So if the attorney got that wrong, what else did he get wrong?”
As far as the third part of the lawsuit, which accuses managers of time-shaving and docking tips, Colicchio explained that the Restaurant Opportunities Center, a non-profit dedicated to improving wages and working conditions, publishes a handbook every year, and as far as he knows, he is one of the few restaurateurs to meet their gold standards annually.
“We always try to comply with the laws; they are so difficult to deal with,” Colicchio said.