Workers sue over wages at South Loop eatery co-owned by Chicago - FOX 32 News Chicago

Workers sue over wages at South Loop eatery co-owned by Chicago Bear

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Two employees of a South Loop restaurant co-owned by Chicago Bear Israel Idonije filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, claiming they were not properly compensated.

Plaintiffs Chastity Beasley, a bartender, and Matilde Chittanavong, a server, claim they were promised $6 to $10 per hour plus tips when they were hired to work at Alain's Restaurant at 1355 S. Michigan Ave.

Instead, restaurant operators failed to pay them anything for some hours they worked, and withheld tips from bills paid with a credit card, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court.

Chef Alain Njike, who previously worked at Charlie Trotter's and the Peninsula Hotel, helmed the kitchen at the Cameroonian-influenced American fine dining restaurant, according to its website.

Alain's celebrated its grand opening in September but closed shortly afterwards when an eviction notice was posted on the door, according to published reports. No one at the restaurant could be reached Wednesday to comment on either the lawsuit or plans for the restaurant's future.

The three-count suit claims violations of state and federal labor laws against Idonije, Njike, and the restaurant's parent company NDE Restaurant Ventures LLC. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount in damages, including compensation for lost wages.

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