Nearly 10,000 workers sue Chipotle for not paying them
Former and current Chipotle employees have filed a lawsuit claiming that the company made them work extra hours "off the clock" without paying them.
The suit was originally filed by a former Chipotle manager, Leah Turner, who claims she had to work without pay and was told to make workers under her do the same in order to meet budget goals.
"Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave," the lawsuit reads.
Nearly 10,000 workers have joined the lawsuit as other employees have cited similar experiences all over the United States.
However, the company says it has paid all wages it owes to employees.
Briana Alexander is one of the thousands of former employees who have joined in on the law suit.
Alexander worked at a Chipotle in Maimi for about a year and says that she was forced to stay late many nights at her store. If the workers were not done by midnight or 12:30 a.m., there were clocked out but told to keep working until the job was finished, even though they were no longer being paid.
She also claims that she worked 12-hour shifts on some days, but was clocked out after her shift time ended even though she continued to work.
The main complaints of the lawsuit center around what occurs at closing time. Workers are supposed to end their shifts between 11 p.m. and midnight at many of the company's restaurants, but workers say they rarely leave on time.
Chipotle's system automatically clocks workers out at 12:30 a.m. in most places, but workers say they are often asked to stay longer to finish cleaning and preparing for the next day. Managers are supposed to adjust the hours, but workers say that does not happen.
According to Kent Williams, lawyer representing the employees in the lawsuit, the employees come from almost every state.
"Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren't following policy. Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it's a systematic problem at Chipotle," Williams said.
The company maintains that the Turner lawsuit has no merit and is expected to continue fighting the case.