April 23, 2011 4:56:30 pm
A female chef working at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant has accused her male colleagues of sexual harassment.
Commis chef Janet Kim,31,a single mother of one,said she was called a whore,was groped and propositioned for oral sex while at her place of work in midtown Manhattan.
When she made a complaint about the treatment,Kim said she was made to work on hors d’oeuvres in an area referred to as “c*** corner”.
She also claims she was subjected to racial abuse with co-workers regularly calling her “China”.
Kim’s lawyer said when she returned to work,after taking some time off for nerves,her male colleagues,who call themselves ”Gordon”s soldiers”,refused to work with her.
Ramsay no longer owns or runs the establishment but it is still branded with his name – and this,according to the lawyer,could make him partially responsible.
The male chefs walked out in protest and the stand-off has forced the Michelin-starred restaurant The London NYC in New York to close during the busy Easter period.
Jeffrey Brown,representing Kim,has filed a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights against the hotel and Ramsay himself.
“Under New York law if any person aids or abets or incites a hostile work environment,they are liable,” the Daily Mail quoted Brown as saying.
“This is what we are contending he does. His acerbic personality lends to this type of atmosphere where the men feel it’s okay to act like him.
“We are not accusing Ramsay of active involvement in these harassment claims.
“He (Ramsay) is not involved. (But) his name is on the restaurant,he is active (in the business),” Brown explained.
Brown said visitors to the high-end restaurant paid in the region of 2,000 dollars to get near the chef’s station where they can witness this sort of hostile environment,the sort of caustic attitude he displays in his TV show.
“We think it’s out of control now and we intend to prove it,” he stated.
Kim who studied at Lady Margaret Hall,Oxford,told the New York Post the reality of working at The London NYC was far more abusive than the Hell”s Kitchen reality series.
“It’s more like Dante’s Inferno,management had never taken my complaint seriously,” she said.
According to her complaint her fellow chefs have been suspended without pay after refusing to work with Kim.
“Every cook in fine dining is suspended for walking out. No one will talk to me,” she revealed.
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