Former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump and husband, Ken Todd are accused of breaking multiple labor laws at one of their made-for-TV restaurants.
The 59-year-old TV personality and her husband are battling yet another lawsuit by Olivia Beverly Hanson, a former hostess at SUR. Olivia filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and other workers who have also worked for Vanderpump's West Hollywood restaurants which features on "Vanderpump Rules", an American reality TV series.
The class action alleged the Vanderpumps had been breaking several California labor laws for up to 4 years now. Their employees were denied statutory benefits like minimum wage and were subjected to work more than 40 hours a week without any overtime pay.
The filings further claim that employees were subjected to tacky operation at the restaurant staff work hours were manipulated and employees were never granted breaks.
Lisa is facing the new class action barely 2 months after it was announced that some of the "Vanderpump Rules" stars like Kristen Doute, Mac Boye, Stassi Schroder, and Brett Caprioni would not return to the reality show amid past racist actions and tweets.
Olivia claims she worked in the restaurant from October 2019 to January 2020. And her duties for the classy eatery included seating patrons, answering phones, and confirming reservations.
The former hostess is requesting a jury trial. She is also seeking damages for all unpaid wages, including minimum and overtime wages, damages for unpaid premium wages for missed meals and rest periods, and damages for unpaid gratuities, among other-related reparations.
The reality TV star was alleged of a similar case in December 2019 by Adam Pierce Antoine, another former employee. Adam filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself as well as other former employees who like him have also worked in Lisa's area restaurants like Pump, SUR, TomTom and Villa Blanca. The lawsuit accused couple of unpaid employees wages. He alleged that they were not properly compensated after they have worked 8 to 12 hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek. Lisa and her husband were accused of manipulating and editing employees' work time records to show lesser hours. He claimed another former employee has filed a claim with the labor force & development agency.
Just like Oliva, Adam Pierce claimed he was neither provided with rest breaks or proper meals. Although the California labor (AB5) says "no employer shall employ an employee for a work period more than 5 hours without a timely break of not less than 30 minutes in which the employee is relieved of all his or duties."
Adam stated that Vanderpump failed to comply with this law and failed to provide staffers with the 30 minutes break when they worked more than 20 hours a day. He said he has suffered in an amount that is subject to proof. He added that the restaurant is owing to him more than $250,000.
News of Adam's lawsuit came shortly after Lisa and Todd made headlines with a car crash incident. The car involved, a Porsche Turbo crashed into the entrance of the couple's restaurant. Although there was no record of casualties in the crash, a woman who sustained minor injuries was moved to the hospital. Lisa in her reaction tried to make light of the situation through her social media page. Where she shared 2 photos from the crash with a caption that reads, "No. We are not a Drive-thru. Thank God no one was hurt."
In response to Adam Pierce's class action, the restaurant's attorney regarded the lawsuit as 'frivolous' and lacked 'merits'. The attorney representing the couple's company Pinky Beverly Hills, LLC also said the class lawsuit was an attempt to extort the celebrity couple.
However, this is not the only restaurant-related crisis Lisa Vanderpump is handling at the moment. The reality star recently confirmed the permanent closure of her Beverly Hills restaurants Villa Blanca. She stated that she and her husband will focus on reopening their other restaurants - SUR, Pump, and TomTom.
As it stands now, there is barely any difference in the allegations from the 2 former employees; Olivia and Adam's allegations. Apart from these 2, there have been previous allegations of the financially shorting of staffers against the couple. And it's funny that the allegations of maltreatment and unpaid wages are not limited to SUR but to other Vanderpump owned restaurants like - TomTom, Pump and Villa Blanca owned by the couple.
The question could all these allegations be true. Or could it be a conspiracy against the couple? But it looks like there are high chances that we'll be seeing more unpaid wages lawyers filing class actions against the celebrity couple.
One known fact is that the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has on workers has brought a lot of employees maltreatment into the light. Companies that failed to provide statutory benefits for their workers like minimum wage, health insurance, and subject their workers to poor working conditions are having it tough this year with lawsuits.