Newsom’s Luxury Restaurant Pays Employees Far Under New State Minimum Wage


(Headline USA) A restaurant partially owned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom is reportedly paying its employees $16 per hour—$4 less than what a new state minimum-wage law requires for major food chains.

PlumpJack Cafe, in the Olympic Valley ski resort near Lake Tahoe, posted a job listing this week for a part-time busser who will “aim to assist the food server … to ensure guest satisfaction during all aspects of the dining experience,” according to the ZipRecruiter ad. The job listing specified the salary for the busser would be $16 per hour plus tips.

However, a new fast-food minimum wage that went into effect on Monday requires many restaurants to pay their employees at least $20 per hour. The new law applies to restaurants offering limited or no table service that are part of a chain with 60 or more locations nationwide. 

PlumpJack Group operates four restaurants and bars and four wineries, according to its website, and therefore it is below the standards to meet the $20-hour wage minimum.

Still, critics pointed out that the wage discrepancy means an employee at a California McDonald’s would make more than most of the staff at Newsom’s luxury restaurant.

“I wonder why [Gov. Newsom’s] food businesses don’t pay $20/hour? Live job posting at $16/hr in Olympic Valley,” tweeted California state Rep. Joe Patterson. “It’s very, very expensive to live there … but he doesn’t do as he tells others and doesn’t pay a living wage.”

When asked about the discrepancy, a spokesperson for Newsom clarified that he put his holdings in the restaurant in a blind trust back in 2018 and that he does not have an active role in its day-to-day operations.

“He has no role in any of the holdings that may be held by the blind trust,” a spokesperson said in a statement.


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