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Popular NYC Restaurant SUED

You Let Celebs SMOKE WEED In the Basement

9/13/2012 3:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0913_philippe_logo_article_smoke
One of the hottest restaurants in NYC has a hidden room where stars secretly get BAKED OUT OF THEIR MINDS ... while eating delicious Chinese food ... this according to a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

The restaurant at the center of the controversy is Philippe Restaurant in Midtown ... which feeds expensive Asian cuisine to stars from the likes of Rihanna to Woody Allen.

But according to a new lawsuit filed by 4 employees, the guys who run the joint frequently give permission to some of their famous clients to smoke herb in a private basement dining area.

The employees don't name the celebrity pot-smokers -- but do note that rappers Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj have dined in the basement.

In the suit, the employees claim they were forced to serve the stoner clientele ... "which exposed them to smoke from a harmful and illegal substance."

One employee claims he was fired after complaining to management about not being able to breathe while working in the basement and smelling like pot when he returned home from his shift to his wife and son.

The other employees claim their shifts were significantly reduced in retaliation after they joined another lawsuit against the restaurant in which they claim they were unfairly tipped out and denied overtime.

All 4 employees are seeking unspecified damages.

An attorney for Philippe tells us ... "The restaurant adamantly denies any allegations that pot smoking or any other smoking is permitted in the restaurant."

84 COMMENTS

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46.

Phishie from Philly    

How many of the 4 employees sueing smoke weed? Again, someone looking for a quick payday. The 4 employees get paid very very well so it just deal with it or get another job. They are just bitter and are haters. 420 baby
..
The real Phishie from Philly

733 days ago
47.

cccl    

lol at " were they african americans looking for a payout" why be politically correct just to make a stereotypical and racially insensitive remark?

733 days ago
48.

dialen    

" She thinkin' Philippe's, I'm thinkin' Wing Stop!"

733 days ago
49.

SpitBall    

Hold up a stinkin minute, isn't marijuana supposed to be GOOD FOR YOU??????? Ain't it like "medicine" or something like that?

733 days ago
50.

Stephiemark    

"Harmful"??!?! Please. The smoke from the food they were cooking was more harmful. Throw the case out.

733 days ago
51.

Rob    

For all of you idiots out there saying they need to suck it up and deal with the situation...obviously you have never waited tables. Their job description does not include having to inhale drugs and you don't know if they might have a second job that requires periodic drug testing. I, for one, do not like inhaling any type of smoke (severe allergies) and refuse to be around that scenario. It is a free world and we should not be made to go against our beliefs.

733 days ago
52.

Amelia    

Forthose idiots that think pots harmless its not friigen harmless it affects the brain .gives people mental illnesses.. Causes heartache and broken family's . Get your head out of the sand geez. U can get high without drugs fools

733 days ago
53.

Susie    

OMG- what Debbie Downers... Loser waiters...
LEGALIZE IT- THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS PEOPLE- IT'S 2012!!

733 days ago
54.

Dizkaer9    

I would be so much more worried being around cigarette smoke rather than pot smoke. What a bunch of idiot babies.

733 days ago
55.

Hyde    

Good grief already. Just make pot legal so we can worry about more important things. Big whoop.

732 days ago
56.

marsin    

There are several restaurants and lounges in NYC like this. Leave them alone!

732 days ago
57.

R    

there's got to be more to this. everyone i've known who's worked in a restaurant, especially higher-end ones, knows drugs, and more specifically pot, are pretty much a part of the scene. i experienced the same when i worked back of house. if you don't participate and don't complain, no issues. this has to be nothing new to those employees. they're likely just seeing a way to cash in. hope they have something outside of the restaurant industry lined up, because i doubt anyone else will hire them!

732 days ago
58.

Eli Rodriguez    

This would NEVER happen at Nobu.

729 days ago
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