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Chipotle Wage-Theft Lawsuit Now Covers 10,000 Workers

Image: Chipotle Wage-Theft Lawsuit Now Covers 10,000 Workers

(Screengrab of CNN video post)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016 08:57 AM

A Chipotle wage-theft lawsuit claiming that many employees are routinely forced to work extra time without pay has now attained class action status to include nearly 10,000 current and former workers.

"Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave," said the wage-theft complaint originally filed in U.S. district court in Colorado, said CNN.

The suit, known as Turner v. Chipotle, is named after former Chipotle manager Leah Turner who claimed she had to work without pay and was told to make workers under her do the same in order to meet budget goals.

Kent Williams, an attorney who is representing the Chipotle employees, said the plaintiffs come from every state where the company operates a restaurant.

"Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren't following policy," Williams said, per CNN. "Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it's a systematic problem at Chipotle."

Chris Arnold, Chipotle's communication director, pushed back against the lawsuit in a statement to Fortune.

"A lawsuit is nothing more than allegations and is proof of nothing," Arnold told Fortune. "Since this suit was originally filed in 2014, we have maintained that it has no merit, and we will reserve our discussion of details for the legal proceedings."

The class-action lawsuit is another in a long line of trouble faced by the Mexican restaurant company.

Earlier this month, Chipotle shareholders filed a federal lawsuit charging that company executives did not create quality control and emergency response measures to prevent and stop food-borne illnesses, said the Denver Post.

The chain was forced to shut down some California locations to sanitize them last year after customers became sick. In August and September 2015, a salmonella outbreak sickened about 64 people who dined at 22 Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota, noted the Post.

An E. coli outbreak that began on Oct. 19, 2015, was blamed for 53 Chipotle customers in nine states becoming ill. The shareholder lawsuit said the company did not acknowledge the outbreak until Nov. 3, when it closed 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington.

In July, Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's chief creative and development officer who was leading the chain's efforts to rebound, was sacked after being arrested in New York City for cocaine possession.

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A Chipotle wage-theft lawsuit claiming that many employees are routinely forced to work extra time without pay has now attained class action status to include nearly 10,000 current and former workers.
chipotle, wage-theft, lawsuit
389
2016-57-31
Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016 08:57 AM
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