Nearly 10,000 former and current Chipotle employees will sue for wage theft

Chipotle’s tough year isn’t over yet.

CHLOE
Chipotle will try its hand at burgers, first in Lancaster, Ohio. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Chipotle storefront. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Chipotle’s tough year isn’t over yet. Close to 10,000 former and current Chipotle employees have joined forces in the largest class-action lawsuit against Chipotle — for wage theft, CNN Money reported.

The case, Turner v. Chipotle, is named after a former Colorado Chipotle manager, Leah Turner. She alleges superiors made her work off the clock— officially called “wage theft”— and employ the same practices on the workers she managed.

“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,” the lawsuit reads.

Workers told CNN that problems typically arise around closing time. Workers are required to clock-out around from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., but because of pressure from labor budgets, few get out on time. And in many Chipotle restaurants, computers automatically log employees out at 12:30 a.m., even if they must work later to finish up extra tasks.

In April, the firm representing the employees, Williams Law Firm, mailed information cards to all hourly workers employed from 2012 to 2016. Workers were required to indicate whether they’d like to participate by July. As of Friday, the tally came to 9,961 plaintiffs.

This is hardly a new issue.

Chipotle has faced smaller-scale wage theft lawsuits from employees and former employees in many states. The New York Post reports Chipotle has been hit by more than 115 federal employee lawsuits within the last five years.

In a recent case, 643 employees sought compensation for overtime worked. In addition, they alleged that Chipotle’s practice of appointing managers-in-training or “apprentices,” was a ploy to exempt them from overtime.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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