Say it ain’t so! Beloved Brit restaurateur and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fave Lisa Vanderpump has been slapped with a nasty lawsuit, in which the brunette beauty has been accused of discrimination and wrongful termination, accord.
Former Villa Blanca dishwasher Ricardo Velasco has claimed that Lisa isn’t the caring boss she appears to be on her spin-off, Vanderpump Rules, and, in 2012, sued Lisa and her husband, Ken Todd, for nearly $75,000. Ricardo was initially hired in 2009 at $9 an hour, and clocked roughly 33.5 hours each week.
“As a dishwasher, Mr. Velasco … was required to constantly stand, bend, and lift up to 50 pounds,” the court documents (via RadarOnline.com) state. Apparently, the trouble began following an incident in September, 2011: “Mr. Velasco injured his back when trying to lift some pots … and Mr. Velasco was permitted to leave work early for that day due to his injury.” Ricardo was given time off so that he could see a doctor, who placed him on temporary disability, but permitted him to return to work, with restrictions. The day he returned to work, he hurt his back further, and saw the doctor again. This time, Ricardo was placed on temporary disability for over a month.
“When Mr. Velasco went to Defendants to provide notice of his disability leave, Mr. Velasco was abruptly terminated,” Ricardo’s lawyer stated. “There was no attempt on the part of the defendants to even reasonably accommodate Mr. Velasco.”
Though Lisa and Todd alleged that Ricardo had “abandoned his employment,” according to the court documents, Ricardo was certain that he was fired because of his physical disability.
Not the case, claimed Lisa and Todd. According to them, Ricardo “was in habitual neglect of his duty as an employee,” and making allowances for his injuries would have been “unduly costly and burdensome.”
Though a jury was scheduled for later in the summer, the lawsuit was dismissed following a notice of settlement from Ricardo’s lawyer on July 8, 2013. The amount of the settlement hasn’t been released, but we’re guessing it was more than enough to keep Ricardo happy and keep the story from making any major waves in the media. Though this isn’t the first time Lisa’s been dragged to court over problems with her servers (a Villa Blanca waitress recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Lisa and a Villa Blanca manager), we’re not really seeing the settlement as an admission of guilt. In all likelihood, Lisa just didn’t want the story to get any bigger than it already was. Sometimes, it really does pay to be obscenely wealthy.
Do you think Lisa is a good boss? Do you believe she discriminated against her former employee? Sound off in the comments!