10,000 Workers Accuse Chipotle of Wage Theft
Chipotle is again making headlines for the wrong reasons. After an outbreak of foodborne illnesses in 2015, the fast-food chain now has been hit with a lawsuit from almost 10,000 current and past workers.
According to CNNMoney, workers claim the company made them work extra hours without pay, often at closing time. In many of its locations, Chipotle has a system that automatically clocks workers out at 12:30 a.m., even if they have to keep working.
Current and former Chipotle (CMG) employees claim that the company made them work extra hours “off the clock” without paying them. It’s a practice known as wage theft, and Chipotle is allegedly doing it all over the United States.
“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,” according to the class action lawsuit known as Turner v. Chipotle. It’s named after a former Chipotle manager in Colorado, Leah Turner, who claims she had to work without pay and was told to make workers under her do the same in order to meet budget goals.
Chipotle denies any wrongdoing and says the case has no merit. The company says it has paid all wages it owes employees.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against Chipotle before, but never on this scale. As of Aug. 26, 9,961 workers — at least one from every state where the company operates — have joined the new lawsuit.
Earlier in August, Chipotle shareholders filed a federal lawsuit against company executives for allegedly failing to put measures in place to prevent foodborne illnesses originating from the company’s restaurants. According to The Denver Post, that complaint “accuses Chipotle executives, its board members and managers of unjust enrichment and seeks compensation from Chipotle co-CEOs Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran.” In 2015, Ells and Moran earned close to $14 million each.
–Posted by Donald Kaufman
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