Wahlburgers—the Boston-based restaurant chain owned by brothers Mark, Donnie, Paul, and, yes, Mark Wahlberg—may tout a particular working class aesthetic, but some employees are crying foul, claiming the brand doesn't exactly put its money where its mouth is—literally. Employees of Wahlburgers filed a class action lawsuit against the restaurant chain on Thursday, accusing its Coney Island location of cheating them out of hard-earned money since opening in 2015.
"[The restaurant] maintained a pattern and practice of regularly shaving compensable time from the weekly hours of all its non-exempt employees, including servers, bartenders, bussers and kitchen staff, and paying them significantly fewer hours than they actually worked," the complaint reads. Employees also charged the restaurant with skimming tips and ignoring requirements established by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Though the Coney Island franchise is owned and operated by a man named John Cestare, the workers claim that neither he nor the Wahlberg's responded to their initial complaints. Wahlburgers, for its part, hasn't exactly apologized for the situation, but says its looking into the matter.
"Wahlburgers is all about family," the company told Munchies in a statement. "Treating people fairly and with respect is at the heart of our brand. Since this situation came to light yesterday, we’ve been working with Coney Burgers to better understand the circumstances."
The Wahlberg family isn't the first celebrity name associated with a restaurant to face legal troubles. In July, employees of T.I.'s Atlanta-based restaurant Scales 925 sued the rapper and his associates for backpay.