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Chipotle facing allegations of unpaid overtime, sexual harassment

In recent months, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has been linked to E. coli and norovirus outbreaks nationwide, including in Florida, but these are not the only problems experienced by this company. It has had to defend numerous labor-related allegations and lawsuits over recent years, including unpaid overtime, sexual harassment and questionable hiring practices. Reportedly, the group was investigated after 450 workers who were undocumented were dismissed in 2010.

Other lawsuits included three female managers that had to be paid $600,000 after they claimed gender discrimination and wrongful termination. Last September, a class action lawsuit was filed that alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It was claimed that the company embedded a consent for background checking in a general consent form for job applicants instead of using a separate form. In another pending class action lawsuit, allegations are that apprentices and assistant managers were misclassified by Chipotle to avoid overtime payment.

The most recent lawsuit was filed last week naming Chipotle and four store managers in another state as defendants. The suit was filed by a former employee who alleges sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. Among other allegations, the plaintiff contends the four managers used security cameras to observe female staff members and customers. They also insisted on providing the plaintiff with ill-fitting shirts that were too small to emphasize her breasts and made sexual comments, including inquiries about her and her husband's intimate life.

Workers in Florida who are experiencing any workplace harassment or discrimination or who are fighting for unpaid overtime may find comfort in knowing that they do not have to take on their employers on their own. An experienced labor law attorney can challenge an employer and negotiate on behalf of the client. If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer will be ready to litigate the case in the court and fight for fair restitution for the client.

Source: 247wallst.com, "Former Chipotle Mexican Grill Employees Go After Company in Court", Paul Ausick, March 23, 2016

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