A group of former Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant employees filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming management pocketed tips and withheld wages from employees.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York names owners Sean Tuohey, Myriah Jaworski and Mark Jaworski. It alleges they kept tips intended for employees, required workers to work off the clock and refused to pay overtime and other benefits that were promised.
The seven former employees who filed the lawsuit also allege the owners were well aware that they had been engaging in illegal employment practices since opening more than one year ago.
The suit goes on to claim the Rowhouse owners took advantage of its customers by charging gratuities on top of bills and kept that money for themselves.
Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant issued the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News:
Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant and its Tuohey and Jaworski family owners will vigorously defend themselves against the false and baseless allegations, made by a small handful of former employees, in the appropriate legal forum.
“We are grateful for the support Rowhouse has received from customers, neighbors and the entire community since we decided to invest in Buffalo’s resurgence and rehab our restaurant’s historic Delaware Avenue building and opened its doors just over one year ago,” said the restaurant’s co-owner, Tuohey. “Most importantly, the talented team we have in place today, and the working environment we provide for our employees, has been critical to Rowhouse’s appeal and success.”
Since it opened in October 2017, Rowhouse has implemented rigorous policies and procedures to help ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations governing the small family owned business, including all those related to compensation, payroll, gratuities and other human resources practices.