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Gerard Butler sued by his employees

Two former employees of the celebrity-owned Shin BBQ are suing the Hollywood restaurant, which is backed by several stars of the big and small screen. They are accusing the restaurant of failing to..

entertainment Updated: Aug 18, 2011 18:58 IST

This may be a reason actors shouldn't invest in restaurants.

Two former employees of the celebrity-owned Shin BBQ are suing the Hollywood restaurant, which is backed by several stars of the big and small screen. They are accusing the restaurant of failing to pay overtime, failing to pay for rest periods, failing to pay for meal periods and failing to pay minimum wage, as well as for unfair competition and violating the fair labor standards act.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Tuesday, lists Law Abiding Citizen star Gerard Butler, That '70s Show stars Laura Prepon and Danny Masterson and Malcolm in the Middle actor Chris Masterson as owners of Shin BBQ.

Owner Simon Shin also is being sued, along with music producer Mark Ronson and Steve Aoki.

Gilberto Hernandez, a former cook, and Eder Martinez, a former dishwasher, claim they were treated badly. They say they worked more than eight hours per day and more than 40 hours per week, but didn't get overtime.

"As a general rule," the lawsuit says, Hernandez and Martinez "were not permitted to take a 10-minute rest break in the morning and a 10-minute rest break in the afternoon," nor were they allowed to take a half-hour off for meals every five hours.

The lawsuit says that Hernandez "suffered damages in the amount of approximately $28,015," and that Martinez "suffered damages in the amount of approximately $5,812" in overtime alone.

On top of that, they say the Korean barbecue didn't pay minimum wage for "split shifts."

Their lawyers, David A. Mallen and Kevin A. Lipeles wrote that their clients "seek to enforce important rights affecting the public interest."

They continue: "The prompt payment of overtime is a fundamental public policy."

They're asking for the money they say they're due, plus punitive damages -- money assessed to punish the restaurant and its owners for what the lawyers allege is unlawful behavior.

Representatives for the actors and the restaurant were unavailable for comment Tuesday evening. It's unclear if they were at dinner.