Chef Mike Isabella Settles Lawsuit With Employee Who Accused Him of Sexual Harassment
Mike Isabella has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by his former employee, Chloe Caras, who claimed she experienced sexual harassment while working at his restaurant.
The financial terms of the settlement are confidential and the settlement doesn’t call for changes of management at Mike Isabella Concepts.
“This agreement allows Chloe to focus on her bright future, and allows us to focus on a future in which all our valued employees will continue to flourish in our management ranks as we remain positive, productive leaders in the D.C. restaurant community. I am happy to personally guarantee that we will strengthen our internal policies and practices and ensure all MIC employees work in a comfortable environment,” Isabella said in a statement.
Since Caras sued Isabella in March for $4 million, his reputation has been tarnished. He had to close down restaurants, was disqualified from The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s annual award ceremony and his publicist, Jennifer Resick Williams ended her professional relationship with him.
In the lawsuit, Caras claimed that Isabella and his partners talked about the size of her butt, called her “bitch” and “whore,” and touched her inappropriately. She also said that managers often sent her explicit text messages. Caras was terminated on Dec. 5 after Isabella allegedly told a male sous chef to have sex with her.
“In settling this case, Ms. Caras met one of her central goals, which was to have MIC enter in a binding agreement obligating it to take corrective measures, including robust training, and to adopt policies to encourage a work environment free of sexual harassment,” Debra Katz, the attorney for Caras, said in the statement.
Over 20 other former and current employees told The Post that they witnessed rampant misconduct in the company. Employees who worked at Richmond Graffiato claimed that their chef, Matthew Robinett, embarrassed a woman who was using the restroom and said “nice vag” to female employees. Two Denver wine representatives who took a trip to Spain with Isabella said that he poured water on a woman because she was wearing a white dress and provoked a man into kissing a woman without her permission.
Isabella has denied all of the allegations against him and his company, claiming they were “false, petty and lack context.”
If you or someone you know has suffered from sexual harassment, it may be in your best interest to reach out to Cohen & Cohen