Signature Room Workers Win $1.5 Million Lawsuit Against Their Former Bosses

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Six months after closing, workers from the Signature Room have won a $1.5 million lawsuit against their former employers as a federal judge ruled that Infusion Management Group broke Illinois law by failing to give workers proper notice of their decision to shutter, which happened on September 28.

Unite Local No. 1 represented 132 former workers at the restaurant that stood on the 95th floor of the Hancock Center. State law, under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, mandates employers to inform their employees with a 60-day notice of their decision to close. This applies to workplaces with 75 or more full-time employees. The $1.5 million is for back pay and benefits. That total comes out to about $11,363 per worker if it’s divided equally. The court ruling was made on March 14, according to the Sun-Times. The paper also reports workers celebrated with a cake decorated with the words “Justice is served.” Infusion wasn’t reached for comment.

Tortilla plant workers file NLRB complaint

Seven months after factory workers from El Milagro tortillas won an NLRB complaint against their employers, workers from another Chicago tortilla factory are claiming their employers aren’t treating them fairly. On Thursday, Authentico Foods workers filed a retaliation complaint with the NLRB as a news release from Arise Chicago says employees at Authentico’s Archer Heights factory have been threatened with layoffs. Arise, a faith-based worker’s rights group that’s done labor organizing in Chicago’s Spanish-speaking communities frames the threat as retaliation for worker protests that have dated back to 2022. Authentico is the maker of the popular supermarket brands El Ranchero and La Guadalupana. Inspired by their peers at El Milagro, workers at Authnetico’s three plants claim similar complaints — abusive managers, low pay, and insufficient breaks under state law.

One Off launches app

One Off Hospitality, the owners of Big Star, the Publican family of restaurants, Avec, and influential cocktail bar Violet Hour, have launched an app with a customer loyalty program. The 27-year-old group, founded in 1997 when Blackbird opened in West Loop, is one of the city’s most recognized groups thanks to partners Donnie Madia, executive chef Paul Kahan, Eduard Seitan, Peter Garfield, Terry Alexander, and the late Rick Diarmit.

The app offers discounts with a points system based on customer spending and allows One Off to better track customer preferences. In a news release, CEO Karen Browne says the project has been years in the making and that made sense “as a growing restaurant group.”

One Off joins Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Chicago-based restaurant groups with apps and programs.

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