Widely popular Atlanta-based restaurant chain Slutty Vegan, owned by Pinky Cole, has resolved a lawsuit filed by three former employees in New York over alleged unpaid wages.
The settlement, amounting to $10,000, was accepted by the plaintiffs — LaToya Adams, Davaughn Clarke and Branden Cook — after they made claims in April regarding improper payment practices within the restaurant.
Inside the Lawsuit
The lawsuit included allegations of unfulfilled promises of bonuses, unpaid or miscalculated overtime pay and various issues related to wages during their tenure at the restaurant’s Brooklyn location. The settlement agreement is awaiting approval from a judge.
In response to allegations, Cole denied the accusations against Slutty Vegan, emphasizing her commitment to supporting her employees and community. The recent settlement with Slutty Vegan’s former employees in New York comes amid major developments for the restaurant. Slutty Vegan expanded its reach by making its products available in metro Atlanta Target stores and inaugurating a new location on Spelman College’s campus in Atlanta. Despite legal challenges, Pinky Cole remains a prominent figure, with her recently being included in the “TIME100 Next” list of up-and-coming power players.
In January, Cole complained on social media about a scheduled appearance on the the “Today” show was canceled right after the lawsuit was announced.
This marks the second lawsuit within a year against a restaurant owned by Aisha “Pinky” Cole. In November 2022, Cole and partners from Bar Vegan, based in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, were sued for withholding tips and failing to meet federal minimum wage requirements.
The Bar Vegan case is nearing settlement, as reported recently in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Cole has denied the allegations against Bar Vegan, writing on Instagram, “What do I gain withholding someone’s hard earned money when my blessings overflow EVERYDAY? When I’m helping people EVERYDAY! When I’m using my resources to put people on EVERYDAY.. employees included! My life’s work is in service, and this negativity don’t match my name.”