Rapper T.I. is finding out the hard way that the restaurant business is filled with countless pitfalls for the unsuspecting, even for those of us lucky enough to be knowledgeable about the nuances of big things poppin'.
A group of employees who worked at T.I.'s Atlanta restaurant, Scales 925, are suing the rapper for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Scales 925 promotes itself as "a restaurant known for it's offering of a brilliant and unexpected mix of Southern cuisine, stunning design and an unforgettable experience." The restaurant really likes to repost the same three pictures of their food over and over again to their Instagram.
The employees—Chrysten Wright, Monique Simms, Kurel Scott, Ongeli McMillan, Whitley Middleton, Sammy Davis, Jenair Perry, Millan Rodrigo, Shomari Davis, Keandra Daniels, DeMarquis Denson, and Cashara Tate—say they were not paid for services they rendered as waitstaff at the restaurant.
The rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, is being sued along with his business partner, Charles Hughes, and his restaurant managing group. The complaint states that Hughes in particular engaged in all kinds of improprieties. For example, the plaintiffs allege that Hughes "deposit[ed] money from Scales 925 into his personal account causing payroll checks to bounce." He also failed to pay busboys, they say. (Did we forget to mention that T.I. is billed as the "Principal" of the restaurant on its website?)
But that's only the beginning. The employees also allege that the restaurant made "fraudulent statements" to employees concerning the hours they worked, and employed time and billing software that would delete hours and, especially, overtime hours. Tips were misstated, they claim, and employees were "coerced to work off the clock for three hours before they were allowed to go home."
Because T.I. had "the power to determine the pay rates or the methods of payment of the employees; and the right, directly or indirectly, to hire, fire, or modify the employment conditions of the workers," the complaint says, he is responsible for the misbehavior. The employees want their backpay, they say. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Atlanta.
MUNCHIES reached out to Scales 925, but the management refused to comment on the matter at the time.
Just in case you were wondering, this certainly isn't the first time that Scales 925 has been enveloped in drama. Last October, former NBA player Glen Rice Jr. was shot in the leg during an altercation with another man that took place outside the restaurant. And possibly worst of all, T.I. once mentioned to TMZ that one of the "signature dishes" served at the restaurant was a meatloaf cupcake.
Looks like T.I. wasn't fucking around when he said, "I know all about that." (Assuming that T.I. is referencing the unending struggle that comes with being a restaurateur when he talks about "that".)