Small Bites: Founding Farmers Parent Company Agrees To Settle Lawsuit Over Employment Practices

Plus: Silver Spring eateries prepare to kick off restaurant week; Jaleo to hold ‘Tomatina Festival’

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Jaleo Restaurant in Bethesda next week will begin paying tribute to Spain’s famous tomato-fight festival by kicking off its annual “Tomatina Festival.”


The restaurant group that owns Founding Farmers, a farm-to-table chain with a location in Potomac, has agreed to pay up to $1.49 million to settle a D.C. court case alleging it underpaid employees and didn’t provide sick leave.

Nearly 1,000 people are eligible to share in the settlement, Bloomberg Law reports.

The lawsuit alleges that Farmers Restaurant Group failed to give its D.C. employees sick leave, in violation of a 2014 law expanding the city’s sick leave ordinance to include restaurants.

The plaintiffs also claimed that workers in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia were paid a lower minimum wage that is offered to tipped employees, even when doing non-tipped work, according to the Bloomberg story.

A D.C. District Court judge will decide whether to accept the settlement agreement.

Get Ready for Silver Spring – Takoma Park Restaurant Week

More than two dozen restaurants are gearing up for “a six-day culinary celebration” for the 4th annual Silver Spring – Takoma Park Restaurant Week, which runs Tuesday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 9.

Local restaurants will offer a diverse selection of menu items from cuisines around the world, including China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Mexico and the Middle East. Participating restaurants will offer two- and three-course lunch and dinner menus to give restaurant goers a full culinary experience.

The event, which was started by County Council member Tom Hucker in 2015, helps promote local restaurants in business districts with no formal restaurant associations.

There will also be a number of community activities taking place during the week, including the Silver Spring Jazz Festival on Sept. 8.

Jaleo plans homage to Spanish tomato-fight festival

Jaleo Restaurant in Bethesda will pay tribute to Spain’s famous tomato-fight festival by kicking off its annual “Tomatina Festival” Monday, Aug. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 9.

Special tomato-themed menu items will be created to celebrate the event, including fried green tomatoes with Valdeon blue cheese appetizer; tomato-strawberry gazpacho with caramelized brioche; grilled lamb t-bone with tomato confit and rosemary sauce; and a gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and tomato water cocktail.

The festival will take place at all Washington-area Jaleo locations.

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