- Advertisement -
More
    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -
    HomeNewsFormosa Cafe Receives Waiver of the $19.08 Minimum Wage Rate in West...

    Formosa Cafe Receives Waiver of the $19.08 Minimum Wage Rate in West Hollywood

    The Formosa Cafe applied for and was granted a one-year Waiver of Minimum Wage Rate Provisions in the city of West Hollywood, which currently has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $19.08 an hour. A brief email obtained by WEHO TIMES, dated September 1, 2023, was sent to all employees of 7156 Formosa, LLC dba – Formosa Cafe – informing workers that they would return to their former pay rate prior to the increase, which puts a lot them at $17.50 an hour according to a source.

    “Please be aware that we have been granted a waiver by the City of West Hollywood to waive the minimum wage increase (Waiver of Minimum Wage Rate Provisions contained in
    WHMC Section 5.130.020 (A) and (B).), which became effective July 1, 2023,” reads an email signed by owners Dimitri Komarov, Dmitry Liberman and Robert Green. “We are doing so because to continue to pay higher wages would require us to reduce our workforce. Please note that this waiver will affect all wages paid for August 30, 2023 -August 29, 2024.”

    According to the source who requested anonymity, employees are frustrated. “Higher minimum makes a difference in our lives,” said the source. “It’s dehumanizing for a company to take that away from their hard working employees once it had been granted by the city of West Hollywood. Formosa Cafe is a profitable business. If the Formosa Cafe can take away the new minimum wage, what was the point of raising it in the first place? And why is it taking it away? Those are the questions left answered.”

    However, in order for the Formosa Cafe to qualify for the one-year, one-time, wage increase waiver, it had to demonstrate that compliance with the payment of the Citywide Minimum Wage increase would force the business to: file bankruptcy or a shutdown, reduce its workforce by more than twenty percent (20%), or curtail its Employees’ total hours by more than thirty percent.

    Dimitri Komarov, president of 1933 Group, and co-owner of three West Hollywood businesses – Formosa Cafe, Tail o’ The Pup and The Harlowe has been vocal about how the West Hollywood wage increase is “devastating,” especially on the heels of a tough couple of years during the pandemic. “We’re going to have to cut down the amount of hours, we’re going to have to cut down the amount of employees that we have for shifts, the wait times may increase, we’re going to do whatever we can to survive,” he said during a business Zoom meeting with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “West Hollywood was always a pro-business place,” Komarov said. “A lot of these businesses don’t know how they’re going to survive.”

    “I quit!” said the former employee after receiving notice that Formosa workers would make less than the rest of the restaurant workers in West Hollywood. “There are others who may quit although I can’t speak for them. Everyone needs a job especially with [cost of living] being as high as it is, so I’m sure many will stay unless they find a different job, which is what I did. I can only speak for myself. I enjoyed working at the Formosa cafe, met wonderful people and learned Hollywood history that you’d only learn by working there. But to take away the minimum wage feels insulting, especially when [cost of living] has never been higher.”

    The Formosa Cafe is one of more than 50 businesses that signed a letter this summer with several requests for city leaders to pause future minimum wage increases and rollback on paid time off requirements.

    On August 20, Lucian Tudor, the CEO of La Boheme restaurant, located at 8400 Santa Monica Boulevard, announced that he layed off all bussing positions at the restaurant due to the high minimum wage.

    It is not yet known is Tail o’ the Pup and The Harlowe have also received a Waiver of Minimum Wage Rate Provisions.

    5 2 votes
    Article Rating
    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

    14 COMMENTS

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    14 Comments: We Want to Hear from You!
    newest
    oldest most voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    EthanT
    EthanT
    Offline
    7 months ago

    Disgusting these owners would rather completely lay off employees than take a slight pay cut to their already unfairly high salaries.

    John More
    John More
    Offline
    7 months ago

    Businesses can’t pay? Well then they CAN’T PLAY. No money no honey. DO NOT SUBSIDIZE FAILED CAPITALIST! IF THEY CAN’T COVER OPERATING COSTS, WELL THEN THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO BUSINESSES SCHOOL, LEARN HOW TO BE AN ACTUAL CAPITALIST.

    OhButNo
    OhButNo
    Offline
    Reply to  John More
    7 months ago

    YESSS!!! EXACTLY!!! People say that about the people who work in WeHo, but can’t afford to live in WeHo. They say If you can’t afford to live in WeHo then go live where you can afford. The city doesn’t owe you affordable housing. AND YET when it comes to businesses the same rules don’t apply. If you can’t afford to run a business in West Hollywood, Tijuana Mexico is a good four hour drive down south.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  OhButNo
    7 months ago

    You seem like a lazy and very bitter person. I can’t imagine anyone employing you.

    TomSmart
    TomSmart
    Offline
    7 months ago

    The Formosa is open 80 hours per week. Let’s say they have 10 staff working each of those 80 hours which they wouldn’t times $1.58 more per hour. Do the math. The owners just want more, more, more for themselves off the backs of their workers. Same old story. Greed.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  TomSmart
    7 months ago

    The problem with your example is deception. The new minimum wage in WEHO is $19.08. That is an increase of $2.08 per hour for businesses under 50 employees not $1.58 per hour. There are also new benefits that you fail to take into account or even mention plus the additional taxes paid by the employer. It’s too bad you can’t at least be honest with your numbers. Why do you feel the need to be dishonest with your calculations? I think businesses that our wildly successful should reward their employees for their hard work. Unless we see their 2022 tax… Read more »

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    7 months ago

    The irony is these wages and benefits will only raise prices for consumers. The same people who want the higher minimum wage and benefits are the same people who complain about high drink prices and expensive restaurant bills in West Hollywood. You can’t have it both ways. They should have had a modest increase over the state minimum wage like Malibu did and not increase costs more than 30% for restaurants and small businesses. It was a ridiculous increase and it only proves that the city council is filled with people that have no business experience. They run the council… Read more »

    OhButNo
    OhButNo
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    7 months ago

    I love how you and the employer who pays you to troll local websites only offer two options. They either screw their customers or they screw their employees. There’s never the third option where the owner and the managers take a pay cut from their fat paycheck and they get screwed for a change.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  OhButNo
    7 months ago

    Do you even know how much the owners made in 2022? Of course you don’t. If they can afford to pay more and the employees are good employees then they should pay more. I personally believe in rewarding good employees because they are the ones that help build the business. What I object to is forcing businesses that may not be profitable or marginally profitable to pay an unrealistic minimum wage if they are struggling. We routinely have college interns in our company and we never pay them less than $20/hour but we can afford it. Not all businesses can… Read more »

    CryMeARiver
    CryMeARiver
    Offline
    7 months ago

    Disgusting. Another business I will not be patronizing. “Please note that this waiver will affect all wages paid for August 30, 2023 -August 29, 2024.” They sent the notice on September 1st. They couldn’t even pay them their fair share for the entire month of August. Gross.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  CryMeARiver
    7 months ago

    If you don’t like it then don’t work for these people. It’s a free country. I doubt you support their restaurants anyway. You seem very cheap.

    Miguel
    Miguel
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    7 months ago

    Relax there Natasha that place is over rated anyways. It’s been a cool Hollywood spot for along time. Had family working there a long time ago.. That place can afford to pay employees fairly they just choose not to and that’s fine. People have choices. I also get that we have to pay employees more we have to raise drink prices and charge for certain things now.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Miguel
    7 months ago

    Restaurants have had a very rough go of it for the past few years. Everyone thinks these businesses are just raking in the dough. Most still have not recovered from the pandemic. I like Bao Dim Sum a lot on Beverly and they told me last week their dine in business is still way off. It’s been their take out business that has kept them going. If it wasn’t for take out and delivery most of these restaurants would be gone. If a restaurant or a business is doing great then they should reward their employees for their contribution but… Read more »

    Jim Nasium
    Jim Nasium
    Offline
    7 months ago

    what a mess!

    RELATED ARTICLES
    - Advertisment -

    Recent Comments On WEHO TIMES

    Latest Articles

    14
    0
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x