In the latest Chipotle news from CNNMoney, the popular Mexican grill chain just got served with class action lawsuit titled “Turner v. Chipotle”. The woman leading the case is Leah Turner, former Chipotle manager from one the many chain locations in Colorado. Turner claims that at the time of her employment, the chain would have the team members clock out and resume working on their off hours in order to meet budget goals. The act of wage theft is noted in the lawsuit as follows,
“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave.”
In response, Chipotle has denied the accusation and claims that the case lacks substantiated proof.
Turner filed the lawsuit and thereafter, approximately 9,961 Chipotle employees, both current and former workers, have sent in consent forms to join the case in suing the company for wage theft. Team members joining the case comes from multiple different chain across the nation and CNNMoney reports that lawyer Kent Williams of Williams Law Firm who is representing all the employees in the case notes,
“Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren't following policy. Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it's a systemic problem at Chipotle…”
You can also see details of the civil action document on Turner v. Chipotle from September 23, 2015 displayed on casetext.com.
Briana Alexander is one of the many workers who joined the lawsuit and she was formerly employed at a Chipotle location in Miami, Florida. In an interview with CNNMoney, she claims that she has been a victim to wage theft at her location.
“Behind the scenes, [Chipotle] is not always what it seems...I can say I have worked off the clock.”
She further goes on to say that she was forced to work overtime on multiple occasions and sometimes work heavy 12 hour shifts. In the event that workers do not finish their work on time, Alexander says that they would be told to clock out and keep working until everything is done. (Despite no longer being paid after clocking out).
Another Chipotle employee, Felipe Ricardo, is saying that though the case has been filed for some time, the problems have not stop and wage theft still persists at multiple Chipotle locations. He told CNNMoney that,
“I only worked nights because I have a full-time job during the day...Normally the schedule says you end at 11:30pm, but it's almost impossible to get out at 11:30pm.”
Ricardo recalls working as late as 1am and informed his manager of the overtime hours to which she responded, “Don’t worry about it.” However, upon receiving his paycheck, he found that the hours were never adjusted. Ricard has yet to join the case but has left Chipotle to pursue an education.
As the case continues, the chain is still trying to redeem its image and restore customer loyalty due to some older and some recent events that has taken place. Some problems such as the foodborne illness that took place last year, the recent issue with Chipotle firing employees for complaining on Twitter and this lawsuit to name a few, has resulted in a flurry of promotions in order to draw customers back to the chain.
For example, some of their promotions (old and new) include:
Are you a former employee or current customer? Will you go back to Chipotle?