August 31, 2016

Nearly 10,000 present and former employees sue Chipotle

Christian Science Monitor -Nearly 10,000 current and former Chipotle employees have joined a class-action lawsuit against the burrito chain, alleging that they were routinely forced to work off the clock.

Chipotle, say plaintiffs in the case, "routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave," according to a complaint initially filed in 2014.

“If an employee does not punch out as required, Chipotle utilizes time clock devices that automatically record an employee as having punched out, even if the employee has not punched out and is still working.”

The class-action originates from a lawsuit brought by a former manager in Colorado and follows wage-theft claims made by employees at chain locations across the country. Chipotle has settled with claimants in labor cases brought in Maryland, Florida, and California, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, and denies any wrongdoing in the current lawsuit, saying it has paid all wages due to employees.

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

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