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INTRODUCTION

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1.

This is an action for damages as to: (1) Sexual Harassment under the Fair

Employment and Housing Act (FEHA); (2) Failure to Prevent Harassment under the FEHA;
and (3) Negligent Retention of Unfit Employees; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress;
and Unfair Business Practices (Business and Professions Code 17200 et seq.).
2.

This action arises out of events involving Plaintiffs KATHERINE PAGE

(hereinafter PAGE) and ASJA SEVER (hereinafter SEVER) (collectively, PLAINTIFFS),


two former female servers at COQUETA, a San Francisco restaurant owned and operated by
celebrity chef Defendant MICHAEL CHIARELLO (hereinafter CHEF CHIARELLO) through
his company Defendant GRUPPO CHIARELLO LLC, a California Limited Liability
Corporation (hereinafter collectively GRUPPO CHIARELLO) and/or SERRA
HOSPITALITY GROUP, LLC (SERRA). Both PAGE and SEVER were sexually harassed
and forced to endure a hostile, sexually charged work environment at COQUETA at the hands of
Defendants CHEF CHIARELLO, Executive Chef DOMINICK MAIETTA, an individual
(hereinafter CHEF MAIETTA); current General Manager MIRKO GALLIANI, an individual
(GALLIANI); and current Assistant General Manager MARC PEYER, an individual
(PEYER) as well as DOES 1-50, inclusive.
THE PARTIES

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3.

PAGE was employed by GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA from

approximately April 1, 2013 until March 13, 2016. PAGE was employed as a server at
COQUETA, a restaurant operated and managed by GRUPPO CHIARELLO at all times relevant
to the events described in this complaint. PAGE is female.
4.

SEVER was employed by GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA from

approximately May 26, 2014 through March 12, 2016. SEVER was also employed as a server at
COQUETA. SEVER is female.
5.

PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendant

GRUPPO CHIARELLO was at all times relevant herein a limited liability company duly
organized and existing under the laws of the State of California. At all relevant times, PAGE

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

and SEVER worked at GRUPPO CHIARELLOS COQUETA restaurant located on Pier 5 in

San Francisco, California. PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that

GRUPPO CHIARELLO owns and operates the COQUETA restaurant.

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PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendant

SERRA was at all times relevant herein a limited liability company duly organized and existing

under the laws of the State of California. At all relevant times, PAGE and SEVER worked at the

COQUETA restaurant located on Pier 5 in San Francisco, California. PAGE and SEVER are

informed and believe and thereon allege that SERRA owns and operates COQUETA, among

other restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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7.

Defendant CHEF CHIARELLO was at all relevant times mentioned herein the

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President of GRUPPO CHIARELLO and a resident of the State of California. CHEF

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CHIARELLO is an American celebrity chef and author and has been a national television host of

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his own cooking shows for over a decade on PBS, Food Network and Cooking Channel. He has

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also appeared on the highest rated food competition shows, Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. His

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Emmy Award-winning show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello began in 2003 and airs

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daily on Cooking Channel. CHEF CHIARELLO is a regular contributor to NBCs The Today

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Show, CBSs The Early Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Regis & Kelly, and the San

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Francisco Chronicles Inside Scoop Voices Column. CHEF CHIARELLO also owns and/or

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operates several local businesses including but not limited COQUETA, the Spanish tapas style

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restaurant located at Pier 5 in San Francisco, Bottega Ristorante in Yountville, and the Chiarello

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Family Vineyards which is also located in Yountville. He also founded NapaStyle, a company

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that offers a wide selection of specialty products for the kitchen, home and garden that express a

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unique way of living based on the beauty and style of the Napa Valley experience.

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8.

Defendant CHEF MAIETTA was at all relevant times mentioned herein the

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Executive Chef at COQUETA and, on information and belief, is currently an employee of

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GRUPPO CHIARELLO that supervised both PAGE and SEVER. CHEF MAIETTA was at all

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relevant times a resident of the State of California. CHEF MAIETTA is male.

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

9.

Defendant GALLIANI was at all relevant times since approximately September

2015 the General Manager at COQUETA and, on information and belief, an employee of

GRUPPO CHIARELLO that supervised both PAGE and SEVER. GALLIANI was at all

relevant times a resident of the State of California.

10.

Defendant PEYER was at all relevant times since approximately September 2015

the Assistant General Manager at COQUETA and, on information and belief, an employee of

GRUPPO CHIARELLO that supervised both PAGE and SEVER. IGLESIAS was at all relevant

times a resident of the State of California.

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PAGE and SEVER are ignorant of the true names and capacities of the

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DEFENDANTS sued herein as DOES 1 through 50 and therefore sues them by such fictitious

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names. PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that said

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DEFENDANTS are in some manner legally responsible for the activities and damages alleged

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herein. PAGE and SEVER will amend this Complaint to allege their true names and capacities

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when ascertained.

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12.

PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that at all times

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herein mentioned each of the DEFENDANTS were acting as the partner, agent, servant, and

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employee of each of the remaining DEFENDANTS, and in doing the things alleged herein was

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acting within the course and scope of such agency and with the knowledge of the remaining

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DEFENDANTS. Furthermore, DEFENDANTS acted as the employer and/or joint employers of

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PAGE and SEVER as well as the other aggrieved employees and in all pertinent respects carried

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out a joint scheme, business plan or policy, and the acts of each Defendant are legally

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attributable to the other Defendants.

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GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
13.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.


14.

PAGE and SEVER were both well-liked, highly regarded servers at COQUETA

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during the time period that they were employed by GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA.

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While no written performance reviews were ever provided to them, both PAGE and SEVER

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

consistently received verbal praise for their performance while working at the restaurant. They

each had a demonstrated record of achieving high sales volumes and superior guest satisfaction.

Due to their superior performance, PAGE and SEVER were regularly assigned to wait on high-

profile and VIP guests such as COQUETAs investors, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician

Carlos Santana, movie star Russell Crowe, and reality television stars Kim Kardashian and

Kanye West.

15.

Soon after they began their employment, however, PAGE and SEVER realized

that the work environment at the restaurant was hostile, sexually charged and abusive. Both

throughout PAGE and SEVERs employment, and more recently within the last twelve months,

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COQUETA chefs and managers have engaged in a pattern and practice of inappropriate sexual

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comments, touching and other sex-related abuse towards COQUETA employees, including

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PAGE and SEVER. COQUETA management either participated in the sex harassment directly

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or allowed it to continue unabated by turning a blind eye towards the egregious, unlawful sexual

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misconduct of the restaurants more prominent employees. Both PAGE and SEVER complained

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at various times to different COQUETA managers about the sex harassment they were

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experiencing, but nothing was done to address the problem and the harassment continued.

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PAGE and SEVER quickly realized that COQUETA management did not care about their health,

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safety and welfare. The combined sexual misconduct of the COQUETA chefs and managers

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created a hostile, sexually charged and abusive working environment at COQUETA which

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caused both PAGE and SEVER significant emotional injury.

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CHEF CHIARELLO sexually harassed both PAGE and SEVER throughout their

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GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA employment and contributed directly to the hostile,

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sexually charged and abusive work environment at the restaurant. For example, CHEF

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CHIARELLO frequently made inappropriate statements to the entire staff, including PAGE and

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SEVER, such as, Martinis are like tits. One is too few, three is too many. On at least one

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occasion, he compared a new sandwich on the COQUETA menu to a vagina by stating that the

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sandwich looked liked a womans underparts while making a triangle with his hands and

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placing it over his crotch. Further, he directed COQUETA managers to employ the following

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

hiring policy: If you dont want to fuck them, dont hire them. CHEF CHIARELLO also

regularly made sexual comments about female customers to his employees. For example, CHEF

CHIARELLO informed another server that two female customers had left snail trails in their

seats after speaking to CHEF CHIARELLO, implying that the women became sexually aroused

after talking to CHEF CHIARELLO and left wet stains from their genitals on their chairs. More

recently, in November 2015, CHEF CHIARELLO, in SEVERs presence and during one of his

regular visits to COQUETA, held a baguette up to his crotch while making stroking motions over

the bread with his hands in an overtly sexual manner. Both PAGE and SEVER have witnessed

CHEF CHIARELLO inappropriately touch, caress and stare at women in a sexual manner in the

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twelve months preceding the filing of this Complaint.


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CHEF CHIARELLO was also unnecessarily aggressive in his interactions with

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PAGE and SEVER. For example, CHEF CHIARELLO placed his hand on PAGEs back and

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aggressively shoved her while stating that COQUETA was his restaurant and that PAGE needed

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to stay the fuck out of his way or words to that effect when he was working the front line of

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the restaurant. Since then, PAGE has felt unsafe around CHEF CHIARELLO.

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CHEF MAIETTA also sexually harassed both PAGE and SEVER and contributed

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to the hostile, sexually charged and abusive work environment at COQUETA. For example, in

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March 2015, he screamed at SEVER for not running food quickly enough and called her a cunt

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and a lazy whore. SEVER left the restaurant and immediately began having a panic attack.

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PAGE had to go outside to console SEVER as she was hysterically crying. In addition, CHEF

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MAIETTA regularly (and as recently as February 2016) used words like gay, faggot,

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pussy, retard, asshole, Mexicans, and whores while on shift at COQUETA. Both

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PAGE and SEVER observed him making these derogatory comments throughout their

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employment with GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA and more recently within the twelve

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months preceding the filing of this Complaint. Further, CHEF MAIETTA frequently asked

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PAGE and SEVER to help him hit on the female guests sitting at the Chefs counter section of

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the restaurant. For example, in November 2015, he referred to one such customer as having a

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very tight ass. When PAGE reminded CHEF MAIETTA that the customer looked to be the

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

same age as his 14 year old daughter, CHEF MAIETTA responded that it did not matter to him

how old she was -- or words to that effect. Both PAGE and SEVER have witnessed CHEF

MAIETTA inappropriately touch, caress, and stare at women in a sexual manner in the twelve

months preceding the filing of this Complaint.

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Former Executive Chef, Santiago Guerrero, who on information and belief no

longer works for GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA, contributed directly to the hostile,

sexually charged and abusive work environment at COQUETA. For example, Chef Guerrero

would constantly stare at women inappropriately and make crude jokes about women being

whores or scum. He frequently made comments to PAGE about male COQUETA servers being

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faggots. In April 2015, Chef Guerrero asked PAGE if she knew how many dicks one of her

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gay male coworkers had sucked the evening before. On another occasion that same month, Chef

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Guerrero held a croquet up to his crotch and asked PAGE if it was the size of her partners

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penis. On another occasion, Chef Guerrero asked SEVER, Do you like puddin? and then

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interjected I like puddin my dick where it dont belong. Such comments were both

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unwelcome to PAGE and SEVER and commonplace throughout Chef Guerreros tenure at

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COQUETA.

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The COQUETA chefs were not the only sex harassers that PAGE and SEVER

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were forced to endure throughout their employment. COQUETA managers also played a

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significant role in creating the hostile work environment based on sex at COQUETA. Former

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General Manager Michael Iglesias (Iglesias) was the first General Manager at the restaurant

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and he contributed directly to the hostile, sexually charged and abusive work atmosphere at

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COQUETA. He repeatedly harassed the female servers working at COQUETA, including

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PAGE. For example, Iglesias once informed PAGE that he had previously been accused of

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sexual harassment in connection with his GRUPPO CHIARELLO and/or SERRA employment

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and that he responded to that accusation by having sexual relations with someone else employed

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by the company to make his accuser jealous. Throughout his employment, Iglesias told PAGE

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that he had affairs in each of his personal relationships and that his bed ways always open to

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PAGE. He repeatedly touched PAGE on the side of her breasts and rubbed her shoulders

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

without her permission. Further, Iglesias frequently told PAGE how good she looked in jeans,

how pretty she was and how he would provide her with preferential treatment (e.g., assigning her

to the best sections of the restaurant) if she would agree to continue to be his eye candy. In

addition, after Iglesias learned that PAGE was engaged to another man, he began to make

harassing and disparaging comments to PAGE about her fiance such as calling him a pussy, a

push-over and not a real man. Whenever PAGEs fiance would show up at the restaurant,

Iglesias would lash out at PAGE by placing her in the worst sections of the restaurant or by

yelling at her for things that she did not do.

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Former Assistant General Manager and General Manager Tasha Hamilton

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(Hamilton), who replaced Iglesias in the General Manager position following his departure,

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also contributed to the hostile, sexually charged work environment that PAGE and SEVER were

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forced to endure at COQUETA. Hamilton set an extremely detrimental example for

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COQUETAs female employees. For example, she frequently wore revealing clothing to work

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and would jump onto the tables of the restaurant to dance and fetch wine. Hamilton also

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repeatedly instructed PAGE and SEVER to change their tampons in the back stairway of the

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restaurant rather than in the privacy of the COQUETA bathroom. One evening during a VIP

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dinner, Hamilton delivered a large plate of octopus tentacles to the table assigned to PAGE.

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CHEF CHIARELLO instructed Hamilton to feed the VIP guest and Hamilton proceeded to

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straddle the guest and dangle the octopus tentacle in her mouth and the VIP guests mouth in a

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sexual manner, in plain view of PAGE. Hamilton also harassed SEVER. For example,

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Hamilton would suggest to SEVER that she should unbutton her blouse, push up her breasts, and

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put on lipstick when serving certain celebrity male clientele and then inundate her with

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inappropriate sexual questions about whether or not Hamilton should respond to the sexual

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advances of COQUETAs elite, male clientele.

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Current General Manager, GALLIANI, who replaced Hamilton in the position,

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also contributed to the hostile, sexually charged and abusive work environment at COQUETA.

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For example, in January 2016, GALLIANI asked SEVER what will the pussies drink in

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reference to the female attendees at a restaurant event. SEVER was so stunned that she asked

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

GALLIANI to repeat himself twice and he provided the same answer. GALLIANI would also

frequently leer at, comment upon and stare at the female customers during the food service.

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PEYER, COQUETAs current Assistant General Manager, also contributed to the

hostile, sexually charged and abusive work environment at COQUETA. On several occasions

since his recent hire, PAGE and SEVER witnessed PEYER walking behind female guests of the

restaurant and making sexual noises with his mouth to signal his approval of the female

customers. He would also move his eyebrows up and down and nod repeatedly signaling that he

was thinking sexually about the customer. In addition, in October 2015, PEYER announced his

attraction to PAGE by telling her that she looked much prettier than she normally does.

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Following this incident, PEYER continued to stare at PAGE sexually. As recently as

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approximately February 14, 2016, PAGE and SEVER both observed PEYER (along with CHEF

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MAIETTA) leering at a female customer whose undergarments were clearly visible through her

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linen pants.

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Both PAGE and SEVER also frequently witnessed CHEF CHIARELLO, CHEF

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MAIETTA and others openly discuss the sexual acts that they have engaged in and/or would like

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to engage in with the female guests of the restaurant. This occurred as recently as the end of

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January 2016.

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PAGE and SEVER were not the only COQUETA employees that were sexually

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harassed. PAGE and SEVER were both aware during their employment that CHEF

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CHIARELLO had sexually harassed a now former bar manager. CHEF CHIARELLO was

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angrily berating the manager for a mistake he had made while working, and in full view of

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numerous other employees and managers, CHEF CHIARELLO grabbed the bar managers

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genitalia and clasped and squeezed it for several seconds. On another occasions, CHEF

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CHIARELLO was overheard telling a female employee that he hired her because of [her] tits

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or boasting to another female employee about what a big dick he has. When one employee

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was introduced to CHEF CHIARELLO on his first day, CHEF CHIARELLO said, Happy to

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have you here. Now get down on your knees, or words to that effect. Despite knowing about

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

these incidents, GRUPPO CHIARELLO did nothing to prevent sexual harassment from

recurring at COQUETA and the harassment was allowed to continue unabated.

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For example, on or about September 28, 2015, a former gay male server was in

the COQUETA restroom when he heard continuous knocks on the door and vigorous shaking of

the door handle. When he exited the restroom, the former server found CHEF CHIARELLO

standing outside. CHEF CHIARELLO asked, Were you in there taking care of someone?

implying that the former server was sexually servicing someone in the bathroom. Approximately

an hour later, CHEF CHIARELLO approached the former server and asked, What were you

doing in the bathroom, rubbing one out? implying that he was masturbating in the bathroom.

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Later, during the same service, CHEF CHIARELLO approached this server from behind, rubbed

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his genitals and torso against his backside and reached around to pinch and twist his nipples.

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CHEF CHIARELLO then leaned in towards his ear and stated, Im getting myself ready to go

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home to my boyfriend. The former server was incredibly insulted by the exchange and shared

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his experiences with PAGE shortly thereafter which made her feel more uncomfortable around

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and afraid of CHEF CHIARELLO.

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CHEF MAIETTA similarly harassed other COQUETA employees in this manner

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further adding to the hostile work environment experienced by PAGE and SEVER. One night,

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for example, CHEF MAIETTA was due to cook for a famous actress who could not tolerate

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milk, cream, or dairy products in her food. One of the servers relayed this information to CHEF

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MAIETTA, who replied, Oh yeah? Why dont you go ask her if she can have Chefs cream?

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implying that the server should go ask the actress whether she could consume ejaculate. Later on

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in the meal, CHEF MAIETTA stated that he would like to whip up some of Chefs cum ice

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cream for her pretty face, implying that he would like to ejaculate on the actresss face. Shortly

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thereafter, a female manager quit in disgust stating to another server that she could not tolerate

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CHEF MAIETTAs disrespect for women and his view of female employees as second class

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citizens.

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CHEF MAIETTA also abused COQUETA employees with homophobic slurs, as

well as racist and sexually harassing comments. CHEF MAIETTA was difficult to work with,

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

had anger issues, and flied off the handle nightly. He frequently made homophobic comments

like, faggot, and these fucking guys are so fucking gay. CHEF MAIETTA made

condescending and racist remarks about Mexican support staff, calling them Mexicans,

retards, and gays. He also insulted Mexican employees at COQUETA by stating that

because theyre Mexican, they have low IQs. CHEF MAIETTA made statements such as,

Nazis should kill these bitches in reference to dark-skinned or minority employees at

COQUETA. Still other witnesses will testify that CHEF MAIETTA stated that he wished Hitler

was still around so he could get rid of certain COQUETA employees that he disliked.

Hispanic employees used to take their meals in the dining room, but once CHEF MAIETTA

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became the Executive Chef, he began prohibiting Hispanic workers from sitting in the dining

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room to eat their meals.

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29.

Throughout PAGE and SEVERs employment, COQUETAs General and

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Assistant General Managers repeatedly turned a blind eye to the sexual harassment that

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COQUETA employees, including PAGE and SEVER, were forced to endure. For example,

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PAGE was harassed by another server who called her a cunt, bitch and whore and threatened

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her physical safety. The harassment occurred in front of COQUETA managers who did

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absolutely nothing to stop the harassment. On another occasion, PAGE complained directly to

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former General Manager Hamilton about Hamiltons own inappropriate manner of dress and

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behavior in front of other employees and customers. Rather than adjust her behavior, Hamilton

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retaliated against PAGE and began cutting her shifts. In approximately September or October

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2014, SEVER witnessed Chef Guerrero making derogatory comments about another servers

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sexuality and subsequently complained about the comments to then General Manager Laurent

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Ertle. On information and belief, Mr. Ertle took no action to stop the harassment from recurring

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and SEVER witnessed Chef Guerrero continue to make derogatory, sex-based comments through

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the termination of his employment in approximately May 2015. SEVER tried to complain again

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to no avail in approximately March 2015 this time to SERRA and/or GRUPPO CHIARELLOs

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Director of Operations, David OMalley. Mr. OMalley initially responded in writing that the

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company takes such complaints seriously, but when he met with SEVER to discuss her

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

complaint he laughed it off and commented that SEVER must look like CHEF MAIETTAs

wife. Further still, former General Manager Hamilton was present and observed the incident

where CHEF CHIARELLO compared one of the restaurants menu items to a vagina and yet she

took no action to stop it. Instead, she laughed as if what CHEF CHIARELLO said was wildly

funny. These experiences discouraged PAGE and SEVER who believed that their complaints

fell on deaf ears and that any additional complaints would be fruitless and result in no corrective

action or worse, retaliation against them.

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30.

Sexual harassment and abuse of employees is so endemic at COQUETA that

multiple female managers have resigned as a result of the oppressive work environment. Shortly

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after the incident involving the actress, a female manager quit, stating to another server (who

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reported it to PAGE) that she could not tolerate CHEF MAIETTAs disrespect for women and

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his view of female employees as second class citizens. Another manager resigned because she

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had grown disturbed and depressed by managements sexual harassment and abuse of

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employees, which occurred almost daily at the restaurant.

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31.

The sexual harassment to which PAGE and SEVER and other employees were

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subjected at COQUETA is only one category of egregious examples of the failure of GRUPPO

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CHIARELLO and/or SERRA to comply with its legal obligations to its employees. PAGE and

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SEVER as well as other employees have been subjected to outward hostility by management in

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addition to the sexual harassment which regularly occurs. Management routinely uses abusive

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and threatening language in addressing COQUETA employees. Addressing employees with

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demeaning language such as, If you ever pour wine like that again Ill throw your ass into the

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bay. And, Try to make it look like youre not a complete fucking idiot were not uncommon.

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Employees were regularly addressed in rude, harassing, angry and condescending tones.

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As a result of the pervasive sexually hostile and abusive work environment to

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which PAGE and SEVER have been subjected, both PAGE and SEVER have suffered

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significant emotional distress.

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//

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//

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

SEXUAL HARASSMENT HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT FEHA

VIOLATION OF CAL. GOV. CODE 12940 et seq.

AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS AND DOES 1-50

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33.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.


34.

The above conduct by PAGE and SEVERs various supervisors (e.g., CHEF

CHIARELLO, CHEF MAIETTA, Chef Guerrero, Iglesias, Hamilton, GALLIANI and PEYER)

was unwelcome, directed towards PLAINTIFFS, and was part of an ongoing and continuing

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pattern of conduct.

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35.

The above conduct caused PAGE and SEVER to perceive their work environment

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as intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive, and reasonable women in PLAINTIFFS positions

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would perceive the work environment as intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive.

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36.

Complaints and/or information regarding much of the harassing conduct were

made to DEFENDANTS. After the complaints to DEFENDANTS, the harassment continued.


37.

PAGE and SEVER filed timely complaints against the DEFENDANTS with the

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DFEH alleging sexual harassment and failure to prevent sexual harassment. Thereafter, PAGE

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and SEVER received from the DFEH notification of their right to sue in the Courts of the State

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of California, the DEFENDANTS against which complaints had been filed.

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38.

DEFENDANTS acts were malicious, oppressive or fraudulent with intent to vex,

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injure, annoy, humiliate and embarrass PAGE and SEVER, and in conscious disregard of their

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rights or safety or that of other employees of DEFENDANTS, and in furtherance of

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DEFENDANTS ratification of the wrongful conduct of the employees and managers of

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DEFENDANTS. DEFENDANTS were on prior notice that at least CHEF CHIARELLO had

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sexually harassed other employees but did nothing to prevent CHEF CHIARELLO from further

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harassing PAGE and SEVER or other employees. DEFENDANTS failed to act despite

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possessing knowledge of CHEF CHIARELLOS previous harassment of employees. By failing

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to act, DEFENDANTS showed conscious disregard for the fact that CHEF CHIARELLOS

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conduct would cause injury to PAGE and SEVERs sense of physical safety and emotional and

psychological well-being. Accordingly, PAGE and SEVER are each entitled to recover punitive

damages from DEFENDANTS.

39.

By reason of the conduct of DEFENDANTS and each of them as alleged herein,

PAGE and SEVER have necessarily retained attorneys to prosecute the within action. PAGE

and SEVER are therefore entitled to reasonable attorneys fees and litigation expenses, including

expert witness fees and costs, incurred in bringing the within action.

40.

As a result of DEFENDANTS and each of their actions, PAGE and SEVER have

sustained economic damages to be proven at trial. As a further result of DEFENDANTS and

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each of their actions, PAGE and SEVER have suffered non-economic losses including but not

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limited to emotional distress; resulting in damages to be proven at trial.

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41.

The above harassing conduct violates Californias FEHA, Cal. Gov. Code

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12940 et seq. and California public policy and entitles PLAINTIFF to all categories of damages,

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including exemplary or punitive damages.

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42.

PAGE and SEVER also seek declaratory and injunctive relief, as provided by law,

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including that DEFENDANTS actions against them, individually, violated Government Code

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section 12940, et seq., and as necessary to stop the employers discriminatory practices.

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SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

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FAILURE TO PREVENT HARASSMENT

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VIOLATION OF CAL. GOV. CODE 12940 et seq.

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AGAINST DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA AND DOES 1 50

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43.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.


44.

In violation of the FEHA, DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and

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DOES 1-50 failed to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent sex harassment against their

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employees.

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45.

In perpetrating the above-described conduct, DEFENDANTS GRUPPO

CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50, and each of them, engaged in a pattern, practice, policy,

and custom of unlawful sex harassment. This constituted a policy, practice, tradition, custom,

and usage which denied PAGE and SEVER, and others, protections afforded by the FEHA

46.

At all relevant time periods DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA,

and DOES 1-50, and each of them, failed to make an adequate response and investigation into

the conduct of its various chefs and managers and the aforesaid pattern and practice, and thereby

established a policy, custom, practice or usage within the organization of DEFENDANTS, which

condoned, encouraged, tolerated, sanctioned, ratified, approved of, and/or acquiesced in unlawful

10

sex harassment towards employees of DEFENDANTS, including, but not limited to, PAGE and

11

SEVER.

12

47.

At all relevant time periods there existed within the organization of

13

DEFENDANTS, and each of them, a pattern and practice of conduct by their personnel which

14

resulted in sex harassment, including but not necessarily limited to, conduct directed at PAGE

15

and SEVER.

16

48.

PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that

17

DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50 did not provide adequate sex

18

harassment training with respect to their employees and managers.

19

49.

DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50, and each of

20

them, knew or reasonably should have known that the failure to provide any or adequate

21

education, training, and information as to their personnel policies and practices regarding sex

22

harassment would result in sex harassment.

23

50.

The failure of DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50,

24

and each of them, to provide any or adequate education, training, and information to personnel

25

concerning policies and practices regarding sex harassment constituted deliberate indifference to

26

the rights of employees, including but not limited to those of PAGE and SEVER.

27
28

51.

PAGE and SEVER filed timely complaints against the DEFENDANTS with

Californias Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging sexual harassment

14
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

and failure to prevent sexual harassment. Thereafter, PAGE and SEVER each received from the

DFEH notification of their right to sue in the Courts of the State of California, the

DEFENDANTS against which complaints had been filed.

52.

By reason of the conduct of DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA

and DOES 1-50, and each of them as alleged herein, PAGE and SEVER have necessarily

retained attorneys to prosecute the within action. PAGE and SEVER therefore are entitled to

reasonable attorneys fees and litigation expenses, including expert witness fees and costs,

incurred in bringing the within action.

53.

As a result of DEFENDANTS and each of their actions, PAGE and SEVER

10

sustained economic damages to be proven at trial. As a further result of DEFENDANTS and

11

each of their actions, PAGE and SEVER suffered emotional distress; resulting in damages to be

12

proven at trial.

13

54.

The conduct of DEFENDANTS and/or their agents/employees as described herein

14

was malicious, and/or oppressive, and done with a willful and conscious disregard for

15

PLAINTIFFS rights and for the deleterious consequences of DEFENDANTS actions.

16

DEFENDANTS and/or their agents/employees or supervisors authorized, condoned and ratified

17

the unlawful conduct of the remaining DEFENDANTS. DEFENDANTS were on prior notice

18

that at least CHEF CHIARELLO had sexually harassed other employees but did nothing to

19

prevent CHEF CHIARELLO or the other COQUETA chefs and managers from further harassing

20

PAGE and SEVER or the other employees working at the restaurant. Consequently, PAGE and

21

SEVER are entitled to punitive damages against DEFENDANTS.

22

55.

The above harassing and discriminatory conduct violates Californias FEHA, Cal.

23

Gov. Code 12940 et seq., and California Public Policy and entitles PAGE and SEVER to all

24

categories of damages, including exemplary or punitive damages.

25

56.

PAGE and SEVER also seek declaratory and injunctive relief, as provided by law,

26

including that DEFENDANTS actions against them, individually, violated Government Code

27

section 12940, et seq., and as necessary to stop the employers discriminatory practices.

28

15
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

NEGLIGENT RETENTION OF UNFIT EMPLOYEES

AGAINST DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA DOES 1 50

4
5

57.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.

58.

PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that GRUPPO

CHIARELLO, SERRA, and DOES 1-50, and each of them, by and through their principals,

agents and employees, conducted themselves unlawfully in violation of public policy and

applicable law as described above with conscious disregard of the result or outcome of such

10

conduct.

11

59.

GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50, and each of them, negligently

12

and carelessly retained their employees including, but not limited to, CHEF CHIARELLO,

13

CHEF MAIETTA, Chef Guerrero, IGLESIAS, HAMILTON, GALLIANI, and PEYER.

14

GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50, and each of them, breached their duty to

15

exercise reasonable care and acted negligently and carelessly in the retention of CHEF

16

CHIARELLO, CHEF MAIETTA, Chef Guerrero, IGLESIAS, HAMILTON, GALLIANI, and

17

PEYER by failing to monitor their conduct, and by failing to adequately reprimand and limit

18

their harassing behavior.


60.

19

As a direct and proximate result of the willful, knowing and intentional acts, and

20

failures to act of GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA and DOES 1-50, PAGE and SEVER have

21

suffered and will continue to suffer mental distress and anguish. PAGE and SEVER are thereby

22

entitled to general and compensatory damages in amount to be proven at trial.

23

//

24

//

25

//

26

//

27

//

28

//

16
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

1
2

INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS DOES 1-50

4
5
6
7

61.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.


62.

PAGE and SEVER are informed and believe and thereon allege that

DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, COQUETA, CHEF CHIARELLO, CHEF MAIETTA,

IGLESIAS, HAMILTON, GALLIANI, and PEYER, by and through their principals, agents and

10

employees, conducted themselves unlawfully in violation of public policy and applicable law as

11

described above with conscious disregard of the result or outcome of such act. Subjecting PAGE

12

and SEVER to the conduct described above throughout their employment was extreme and

13

outrageous conduct by the DEFENDANTS, and each of them.

14

63.

Through the outrageous conduct described above, DEFENDANTS each acted

15

with the intent to cause, and with reckless disregard for the probability of causing either or both

16

PAGE and SEVER to suffer severe emotional distress.

17

64.

At all relevant times, DEFENDANTS had actual or constructive knowledge of

18

extreme and outrageous conduct described herein, and condoned, ratified and participated in

19

such extreme and outrageous acts.

20

65.

As a direct and proximate result of DEFENDANTS willful, knowing and

21

intentional acts, and DEFENDANTS failure to act, PAGE and SEVER have suffered and will

22

continue to suffer mental distress and anguish. PAGE and SEVER are thereby entitled to general

23

and compensatory damages in amount to be proven at trial.

24

66.

The acts of DEFENDANTS, as alleged herein, were done with fraud, oppression

25

and malice, with a conscious disregard for PAGE and SEVERs rights; and with the intent,

26

design and purpose of injuring PAGE and/or SEVER, with an improper and evil motive

27

amounting to malice, in conscious disregard of PAGE and SEVERs respective rights.

28

DEFENDANTS were on prior notice that at least CHEF CHIARELLO had touched other

17
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

employees against their will but did nothing to prevent CHEF CHIARELLO from further

touching other COQUETA employees. DEFENDANTS were also on prior notice of CHEF

MAIETTAs harassing and unprofessional proclivities and took no action to stop it resulting in

continuing harassment injuring both PAGE and SEVER. By failing to act, DEFENDANTS

showed conscious disregard for the fact that CHEF CHIARELLO, CHEF MAIETTA or any

other chef or managers conduct would cause injury to PAGE and SEVERs sense of physical

safety and emotional and psychological well-being. PAGE and SEVER are therefore entitled to

recover punitive damages against DEFENDANTS, and each of them.

9
10

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

11

UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

12

VIOLATION OF CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE 17200

13

AGAINST DEFENDANTS GRUPPO CHIARELLO, SERRA AND DOES 1 50

14
15
16

67.

PAGE and SEVER incorporate by this reference the factual allegations set forth

in the preceding paragraphs.


68.

On or about December 8, 2015, SEVER, along with a few other COQUETA

17

servers, worked a special event where the event host left the servers $2,000 in tips. Megan

18

Daughtry, COQUETAs private events manager, was instructed by Mr. OMalley take half of

19

these tips ($1,000) and give them to the kitchen staff who played no role in providing table

20

service for the event. Ms. Daughtry, on information and belief, was also instructed by Mr.

21

OMalley to lie to the servers and tell them that the guest called back in the morning to change

22

the gratuity amount. Neither SEVER nor any of the other servers involved in the special event

23

ever received the full amount in tips that the event host left for them.

24

69.

Defendants conduct, as alleged herein, has been, and continues to be, unfair,

25

unlawful and harmful to PLAINTIFFS, to the general public, and Defendants competitors.

26

Accordingly, PAGE and SEVER seek to enforce important rights affecting the public interest

27

within the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5.

28

18
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

70.

Defendants activities as alleged herein are violations of California law, and

constitute unlawful business acts and practices in violation of California Business & Professions

Code section 17200, et seq.

71.

A violation of California Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq. may

be predicated on the violation of any state or federal law. In this instant case, Defendants

policies and practices of requiring PLAINTIFFS to share their tip income with members of the

kitchen staff violates California Labor Code section 351.

8
9
10
11

72.

Plaintiff SEVER has been personally injured by Defendants unlawful business

acts and practices as alleged herein, including but not necessarily limited to the loss of money
and/or property.
73.

Pursuant to California Business & Professions Code sections 17200, et seq.,

12

Plaintiff is entitled to restitution of the wages withheld and retained by Defendants during a

13

period that commences four years prior to the filing of this complaint; a permanent injunction

14

requiring Defendants to pay all outstanding wages due to Plaintiff; an award of attorneys fees

15

pursuant to California Code of Civil procedure section 1021.5 and other applicable laws; and an

16

award of costs.

17
18
19
20
21

PRAYER FOR RELIEF


WHEREFORE, PAGE and SEVER pray for relief as follows:
1. For general damages according to proof, however, no less than the jurisdictional
limit of this court;

22

2. For restitution in an amount according to proof;

23

3. For special damages in amounts according to proof;

24

4. For exemplary and punitive damages in amounts according to proof;

25

5. For injunctive relief as provided by law;

26

6. For declaratory relief as provided by law, including, inter alia, that

27

DEFENDANTS actions against PAGE and SEVER, respectively, violated

28

Government Code section 12940, et seq., and all other statutes alleged herein;

19
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES