A class action lawsuit was originally filed against the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum, 60, in August 2020 and amended two months later. Court documents obtained by Us Weekly cite a number of offenses, including failure to pay overtime wages, failure to pay minimum wages and wage statement violations “for at least four years prior to the filing of this action and continuing to the present.”
The docs claim that employees who were “routinely working over eight hours per day, 40 hours per week and seven consecutive days in a work week” were not “properly compensated” for any overtime they logged. Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd, were also accused of “manipulating or editing time records to show lesser hours than actually worked” and “permitting employees to work off the clock.”
In November 2020, the Bravo personality and Todd, 75, submitted a response to the court denying “both generally and specifically, each and every allegation contained” in the prior complaint. The couple, who tied the knot in 1982, stated that Pump employees were fairly treated “at all times” and that the owners acted in accordance with California labor laws. A conference will be held in April to address the ongoing suit.
This isn’t the first time Vanderpump and Todd have come under fire for wage violations. In July 2020, employees at SUR — another one of the pair’s popular West Hollywood restaurants — filed a class action lawsuit with nearly identical accusations of improper overtime pay.
Docs obtained by Us at the time claimed that the U.K. natives and their business partners, Guillermo Zapata and Nathalie Pouille-Zapata, failed to “accurately track and/or pay for all hours actually worked” and allegedly edited “time records to show lesser hours than actually worked during the pay period, to the detriment of Plaintiff and other situated employees.”
Vanderpump’s restaurants have been severely impacted by forced closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, the Dancing With the Stars alum announced that after “a long year,” she and her team were planning to safely reopen Pump in the near future.
“I am fully vaccinated [and] many of our staff are in process [of doing the same], numbers are way down,” she tweeted, seemingly shutting down rumors that the eatery was “suspended” after an alleged tax dispute.
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Days before she teased Pump’s comeback, The Sun reported that a failure to pay taxes, failure to file tax returns or failure to pay penalties or interest accrued on the taxes had prompted the California Franchise Tax Board to suspend the restaurant’s operations. According to the California Franchise Tax Board’s website, businesses must pay any alleged balances or file any allegedly past due tax returns in order to reopen. Vanderpump later addressed the allegations via Twitter, claiming the discrepancy was a “$250 filing fee from 2016.”
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As fans began to wonder about the status of Vanderpump’s famous L.A. joints, a source exclusively told Us in November that Pump was “not shutting down,” but simply adhering to California’s strict COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. Vanderpump confirmed three months earlier, however, that her Villa Blanca restaurant was closing its doors for good.
“While saying goodbye to the location where we have actively served the Beverly Hills community for 12 years and employed hundreds of Angelenos is a sad time for us, we are excited to perhaps bring Villa Blanca back in the future at a different location – as its staff and customers have always been a family,” she told The Daily Mail in a July statement.