Sardi’s, one of NYC’s most legendary restaurants, frequented by the theater community and tourists before the pandemic, is being sued by Yesenia Díaz, alleging that she was sexually harassed while working there and later fired for complaining.
Díaz, who is now 29 years old, pointed out that the case dates back to 2017, when he began working there as waitress. He alleges in a federal lawsuit that he was sexually harassed for eight months there and then fired in retaliation when he complained.
Opened in 1927, that legendary Broadway restaurant (234 West 44th St) is known for nine decades of framed celebrity caricatures that adorn its walls, and visitors such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Arthur Miller and Barbra Streisand.
But it was hell for Diaz, whose problems allegedly began two months after he was hired, when general manager Sean Ricketts “touched his waist and shoulders,” the lawsuit alleges. At least one other waiter did something similar too.
On August 25, 2017, Sardi’s “retaliated” by firing her. The complaint seeks specific damages for mental anguish, anxiety, memories, “pain and sleepless nights.”
“This kind of thing shouldn’t happen in any restaurant, and much less in Sardi’s,” he told New York Post Diaz’s attorney, Christopher J. Berlingieri. “This happened in the era before #MeToo, at a time when, unfortunately, this type of conduct by management may have been acceptable. “
Díaz said through his lawyer: “I don’t want them to get away with what they did to me in Sardi’s; not well”. The defendants did not return messages requesting their version. The restaurant is closed due to the pandemic, like the entire theater scene in New York.
Yesenia Diaz, a former Sardi’s server, is suing the iconic Manhattan restaurant, saying she was sexually harassed during her eight-month stint there and fired in retaliation when she complained. https://t.co/8grz0MRINP
– BetterBrave.org (@betterbrave) January 11, 2021