Three lawsuits have been filed against Chipotle alleging labour violations.
The primary claim in all the lawsuits is that employees were forced to work without pay.
“For at least three years prior to the filing of this action and continuing through the date of this action, Chipotle has devised and implemented general policies and practices to deprive its hourly-paid restaurant employees to work ‘off the clock,’ without pay, by various means, including, but not limited to, utilising timekeeping devices that automatically punch employees off the clock, even if they are still working,” according to a complaint filed in Colorado on behalf of employee Leah Turner.
Six employees are named in the lawsuits, which were reviewed by Business Insider. The Denver Business Journal first reported on the lawsuits.
One of the two complaints filed in Minnesota claims that Chipotle rewards general managers for keeping payroll costs low, which ends up hurting hourly employees.
“General managers are awarded bonuses and other compensation for staying within their payroll budgets,” the suit alleges. “If a payroll budget is exceeded, the general manager’s job security is threatened.”
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the company doesn’t comment on pending legal actions.
“More generally, all of our policies and practices in these areas are compliant with applicable laws, and the filing of a suit amounts to nothing more than allegations,” he said in an emailed statement.
Chipotle is renowned for its internal promotion program and for paying employees more than the industry average. Starting pay for “crew” members is about $US10.50 an hour, or $US21,000 annually, according to reports. Employees also get health insurance and two weeks of vacation.
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