Lisa Vanderpump is under fire for her comments about a vote to increase the minimum wage in West Hollywood, California, which is the location of several of her popular bars and restaurants.
In a news clip shared on The Queens of Bravo Instagram account, the 61-year-old “Vanderpump Rules” star was seen speaking out about the move to increase the minimum wage in the city where businesses were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news report revealed that the amount needed to make a living wage in Los Angeles is $19.35 per hour, which is well above the minimum wage. Local business owners, including Vanderpump, were seen urging city council members to hold off on increasing the minimum wage as they catch up on back rent and other setbacks from the pandemic.
In the clip, Vanderpump was seen saying telling the city council, “I just implore you to really give this a lot of thought. Because I do believe if we raise the minimum wage now, it’s going to be counterproductive.”
Following Vanderpump’s comments, the West Hollywood City Council approved the wage increase, making West Hollywood the highest minimum wage in the country, with a $17.64 hourly rate starting in 2022, according to CBS Local Los Angeles.
Ahead of the increase, West Hollywood’s minimum wage was between $13 and $14 per hour depending on a business’s total number of employees, per CNN.
Fans Reacted to Lisa Vanderpump’s Comments About Wages
It’s no surprise that Vanderpump’s comments hit a nerve with some workers.
“She’s worth $90 million and can’t give a couple of extra dollars to her employees who need it most and lost work during the pandemic?” one commenter wrote on Instagram.
“A millionaire fighting not to pay her employees a wage that isn’t even the LIVING wage. Shameful,” another wrote.
“I’d love for lvp to live on minimum wage for a day and see how she likes it,” another added.
“I bet if Bravo only offered her minimum wage she’d feel different,” another agreed.
“She spends more on flower arrangements for her bars and restaurants than what she pays her employees, doesn’t SURprise me at all! “ another viewer chimed in.
Another commenter pointed out that Vanderpump spends “millions saving dogs” but doesn’t seem to care about paying her own employees a decent living wage.
Some others supported Vanderpump as they noted that her line of business was greatly impacted by the shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Twitter post, which can be seen below, Vanderpump later explained that she was only suggesting a delay in a minimum wage increase so that restaurant owners can get back on their feet. She also noted that highly tipped workers should not be considered in the same class as non-tipped hourly employees.
Lisa Vanderpump Was Previously Sued for Not Compensating Her Employees Fairly
In early 2021, Us Weekly reported that Vanderpump was hit with a class-action lawsuit from employees from Pump and SUR, two of her West Hollywood area bar-restaurants. In court documents obtained by the outlet, it was revealed that Vanderpump failed to pay her employees minimum and overtime wages over the course of four years.
Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd were accused of “manipulating or editing time records to show lesser hours than actually worked” and allowing some employees to “work off the clock,” the documents claimed.
The couple responded to the suit to declare that they acted in accordance with California labor laws and paid their employees fairly.