A Lawsuit Claims Chipotle Isn’t Paying Its Workers the Overtime They Deserve

Jun 08, 2017

On Wednesday, Mexican food restaurant Chipotle was hit with a lawsuit that claims it failed to correctly pay its workers overtime wages.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, alleges the company failed to expand overtime to employees after the Labor Department issued a new rule last year that made more employees eligible for overtime pay, USA Today reports, citing the lawsuit. The rule required employers to pay overtime to any worker with an annual salary up to $47,476—an increase from the $23,660 threshold that was previously required.

But shortly before the rule went into effect, a Texas court put its enforcement on hold, according to USA Today. The Texas injunction kept the Labor Department from enforcing the rule.

The lawsuit says that the burrito chain should still be required to pay overtime despite the Texas court's injunction. According to USA Today, it contends that the Texas court's decision did not apply to private employers, meaning the overtime rule should stay in effect until a final ruling is issued on the pay rule.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is a woman named Carmen Alvarez, who worked as an "apprentice" at several Chipotle restaurants in New Jersey, according to USA Today. Despite typically working more than 40 hours a week, she was not compensated for that overtime, she claims.

A spokesperson for Chipotle was not immediately available when contacted by Fortune. However, when contacted by USA Today, a spokesperson declined to comment on the pending legal action, but did say, "a lawsuit is nothing more than allegations, and the filing of a suit is in no way proof of any wrongdoing."

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