Nobu restaurants facing lawsuits over sexual harassment, worker overtime

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Workers suing Nobu over pay, sexual misconduct
Nobu, the high-end SoCal sushi restaurant frequented by celebrities, is facing two separate lawsuits from former workers over sexual misconduct and overtime pay.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- An ex-Nobu employee alleges in a new lawsuit that he and other current and former workers had to work off-the-clock without pay as well as through meal and rest breaks at the La Cienega Boulevard location.

Angel Briones' Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought against the restaurant and hotel chain under the state's Private Attorneys General Act, which authorizes allegedly aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees and the state for purported Labor Code violations.

A Nobu representative could not be immediately reached for comment on the complaint brought Monday.

On Wednesday of last week, a plaintiff identified only as Jane Doe filed a separate Los Angeles Superior Court suit alleging hostesses at Nobu's Malibu restaurant are subjected to repeated sexual misconduct from supervisors.

Briones' suit seeks civil penalties and attorneys' fees. His suit does not state the job he held, but states he was hired at the Los Angeles Nobu restaurant in 2015 and worked there until July 2022.

According to the suit, Nobu failed to compensate its employees for all hours worked, including time spent getting tested for the coronavirus and time spent putting on and taking off their uniforms.

Briones and other employees regularly worked through meal breaks and were not paid for overtime, the suit alleges.

Nobu management also allegedly failed to keep and provide accurate wage statements in violation of the state Labor Code and did not reimburse employees for business expenses, including the use of their cell phones for work-related matters, and also did not promptly pay the staff money owed when they were fired or quit, the suit states.

The Nobu restaurants were founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and producer Meir Teper, and are frequently patronized by celebrities.