Yikes. Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge restaurant — a chic eatery in LA’s West Hollywood enclave — is reportedly being sued for allegedly cheating workers out of money. According to E! News, nine current and former employees are suing Jessica, 35, and the restaurant for unlawful conversion of employee gratuities, fraud, and other damages.
"Each of them had their gratuities wrongfully converted and were improperly denied meal and rest breaks, overtime compensation and earned wages under various illegal payroll practices," the plaintiffs allege in court documents obtained by the outlet.
The documents continue, “Defendants charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in gratuities to private-party customers and converted said gratuities to themselves in order to pad their own pockets and deprive plaintiffs their just compensation in violation of law.”
In response, a lawyer for Au Fudge told E! News, "The Company does not comment on pending litigation and has not had an opportunity to review the Complaint, but looks forward to defending itself in Court.”
Jessica's business partners and Au Fudge co-founders, Jonathan Rollo (left) and Joey Gonzalez (right).
Au Fudge opened its doors in March 2016. Jessica founded the restaurant with Barry’s Boot Camp CEO Joey Gonzalez and restaurateur Jonathan Rollo. Back in May, the Sinner actress told Delish that jumping into the food industry was more difficult than she expected. "Wow, this is a tough business," she admitted to Delish.
In the documents, a former Au Fudge manager provided declaration for the plaintiffs and said that the company’s business model is supposedly based on the sales of private events and buy-outs, which range in price from $10,000 to $100,000. The plaintiffs reportedly estimate a grand total of $430,000 as the amount of wrongfully converted gratuity. A court date has yet to be scheduled, but the plaintiffs are requesting a jury trial as the case proceeds.