09/14/2012 12:39 pm ET

Philippe, NYC Restaurant, Sued For Allowing Celebrities To Smoke Weed

A Midtown restaurant specializing in Chinese cuisine is being sued for allegedly allowing high profile clientele to freely smoke marijuana in the restaurant's private basement.

TMZ reports four Philippe employees have filed a lawsuit claiming they were forced to serve weed smoking patrons and thus exposing "them to smoke from a harmful and illegal substance."

One employee says he was fired after confronting owners after he took issue with returning home to his family covered in smoke and the smell of weed.

Although the lawsuit does not explicitly name celebrities, TMZ points to Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj, both of whom have been known to dine at Philippe. Ross in particular is known to dabble, which might be an understatement. (See photos of his recent trip to Jamaica. )

As expected, the restaurant denies the allegations. CEO of Philippe Chow Restaurant Group Stratis Morfogen dismissed the lawsuit as an attempt at "extortion" and said, "We do not allow smoking of legal cigarettes in our restaurants, so obviously we strongly deny these ridiculous accusations."

The Philippe brand is no stranger to legal disputes. Philippe and Morfogen were recently found guilty of false advertising and unfair competition by deceptive conduct to profit from Michael Chow's upscale Mr. Chow restaurant chain.