"He Treated Me Like Property": Nanny Sues Restaurant Boss, Alleges Slave-like Treatment

"He Treated Me Like Property": Nanny Sues Restaurant Boss, Alleges Slave-like Treatment

A former nanny filed a lawsuit against her New York employer, saying that he kept her in “modern-day indentured servitude.'

There are times when people feel that they have nobody to turn to when their employment becomes a burden. But this case of a former nanny stems from an alleged slave-like treatment. 
According to The New York Post, Cindy Carter is suing her ex-boss -- a manager at Upper East Side eatery Scarpetta for treating her like a slave. 

James Ragonese (Twitter)

Carter claims that she lived in “modern-day indentured servitude’’ and was “treated like property” by assistant manager James Ragonese when she was his child's nanny. Brooklyn federal-court suit mentions that he forced her to call her "boss man", sleep in the pool shed and even unclog the family’s toilet. 

“It hurt so bad I cried,’’ Carter told The Post. “I didn’t know what to do.’’ 

The 44-year-old was paid a pittance — about $300 a week while toiling 71 to 120 hours weekly between March 2016 and this past February, when she was fired, according to the complaint and her lawyer, Justin Marino.



 

While James Ragonese works at the high-end eatery — which features such dishes as Wagyu strip with truffled spinach — Carter “was typically offered only leftovers,’’ the suit says.  
Moreover, she “was prohibited from cooking food when Defendants’ were home (because, as Nicole Ragonese, James' wife stated, “Caribbean food is disgusting”),” the papers state. 



 

The lawsuit also mentions that Carter required “to perform duties completely unrelated to being a nanny, such as plunging a toilet,” the suit says. 

The nanny “spent her entire day either taking care of Defendants’ child (cleaning, feeding, monitoring, entertaining, etc.), cleaning the house, weeding the lawn and flower beds, watering the lawn during the Summer (as Defendants did not have a sprinkler system), doing laundry, or otherwise responding to Defendants’ every whim,” the 16-page document states. 



 

Carter first lived in the family’s attic and then in the basement of their home in Williston Park, LI, she says. 

In 2018, the family moved to a new home in Port Washington, where they began constructing a basement room just for her. She also claimed that on a trip to the Hamptons with the family, she was kept in an unventilated storage room where pool chemicals were kept.

Carter said wife Nicole told her she could “leave the door open” if the fumes got to be too much, according to the lawsuit. 

The Ragonese's lawyer, Dustin Levine, said Carter’s lawsuit is in retaliation for the couple having her arrested for keying their car. She’s now facing misconduct charges for the incident.  

Carter’s lawyer, Marino, said that before his client’s arrest, Carter had called the police herself after a male Ragonese relative allegedly made inappropriate comments to her.

Carter — who is currently in a homeless shelter — is suing for alleged violations of state and federal wage provisions and noncompliance with notice/record-keeping requirements, among other things. 

She is suing for, among other things, alleged violations of state and federal wage provisions and noncompliance with record-keeping requirements, seeking damages and unpaid wages for overtime with interest. 

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