Brooklyn Caterer Faces Lawsuit For Alleged Employee Retaliation After Class Action Settlement

By Leeds Brown Law | March 18, 2019

A second class action lawsuit was filed in Nassau County Supreme Court by two former employees against a Brooklyn caterer who operates Ateres Avrohom and other banquet spaces on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. The former workers allege that they were retaliated against and ultimately terminated after they elected to participate in a $1,000,000 Class Action Settlement.

The workers allege that the owners and operators of several catering facilities, including Ateres Avrohom and Continental Caterers – both located in Brooklyn, NY – threatened them with termination if they filed claims to participate or cashed checks from the settlement. According to their attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, the Named Plaintiffs, Chassity Gonzalez and Justine Gonzalez, allege that after 8-plus year tenures they were each terminated due to their participation in the prior lawsuit which was approved by Honorable Judge John M. Galasso, J.S.C. in October 2018.

According to the court filing, after the initial Class Settlement Action was resolved in October 2018 the caterer “began identifying, targeting, and retaliating against participants in the Class Settlement Action by terminating them, reducing hours, lowering their pay, giving them unfavorable shifts, and attempting to force all participants in the Class Settlement Action from exercising their legal rights to participate, testify, or otherwise join the settlement, as it was presented to Judge Galasso.” The Plaintiffs allege that the caterer attempted to dissuade workers from participating in the lawsuit in an effort to pay less into the settlement fund.

“Instead of allowing these workers to exercise their rights to participate in the settlement and raise complaints about how they were treated, this company decided to jeopardize these workers’ livelihood, threatening them, intimidating them, and discarding them,” according to Brett R. Cohen, Esq. of Leeds Brown Law, who represents Plaintiffs. “These workers should not be treated in this way for exercising their rights to lawfully join a settlement and collect the money that they were owed.”

The original class action lawsuit was filed in 2016 and alleged that the caterer retained tips and gratuities from service employees who performed work at weddings, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, and other social and corporate events on and off premises locations run by the cater.

Chassity Gonzalez and Justine Gonzalez are represented by Leeds Brown Law, P.C., of Carle Place, New York, who also represented all Class Members in the settlement approved by Judge Galasso. If you have any questions regarding this pending lawsuit, please contact attorney Brett R. Cohen, Esq., of Leeds Brown Law, P.C., at (516) 873-9550.

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