Chipotle Is Being Accused of Wage Theft by Almost 10,000 Employees
Almost 10,000 Chipotle workers are claiming that the Tex-Mex chain owes them money.
Both current and former employees of Chipotle (CMG) are accusing the company of wage theft, claiming that they aren’t paid for working extra hours. The case has been dubbed Turner v. Chipotle, named for Leah Turner who used to be a manager at a Colorado location.
The lawsuit states: “Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave. Turner said she was told to work overtime without pay and tell her subordinates to do so as well so that the restaurant could meet its budget goals.
CNN reports that this is the largest wage theft lawsuit Chipotle has ever been up against. As of Friday, 9,961 people had opted in from almost every state Chipotle operates in. “Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren’t following policy,” Kent Williams, the attorney representing the workers, told CNN. “Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it’s a systematic problem at Chipotle.”
This alleged wage theft problem mainly affects employees working at closing time. At many locations the system automatically clocks out workers at a specific time. When they stay late to finish cleaning up and preparing for the next day, CNN writes that it’s up to the managers to adjust their hours.
“A lawsuit is nothing more than allegations and is proof of nothing,” Chipotle’s communications director, Chris 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.”