Just when it seemed like its troubles may be behind it, America’s most embattled fast-casual burrito chain has found itself in the midst of another legal battle. Almost 10,000 workers are suing Chipotle, alleging the company cheated them out of wages, reports CNN Money.
The suit was originally filed in 2014 but since then, thousands — 9,961, to be exact — of current and former workers have joined the lawsuit. Original plaintiff Leah Turner, claims that during the time she worked for Chipotle in 2010 and 2011, she was often automatically clocked out before she was actually finished working, and was also required to attend after-shift meetings for which she was not paid.
Another worker who later joined the suit told CNN Money, "Behind the scenes, [Chipotle] is not always what it seems. I can say I have worked off the clock." Other employees have filed to join the suit as recently as August 26.
After CNN reported about the 10,000-person-strong class action against Chipotle, financial analysts took to Twitter to voice their concerns that the news could further erode the chain’s profitability — following, of course, the E. coli outbreak that caused dozens of customers to get sick and sent stock tumbling to its lowest point in three years.
you left out rising turnover because people don't want to work there anymore = eroding profitability $CMG https://t.co/Dt9ksBnROE— Howard Penney (@HedgeyeHWP) August 29, 2016
Seems really bad for $CMG https://t.co/W1r4U8HEa7— Marc Lehman (@markflowchatter) August 29, 2016
10K Workers Sue #Chipotle (The Latest Sign It Can't Get Out of Its Own Way) https://t.co/Ep5djf69mJ $CMG @HedgeyeHWP pic.twitter.com/X9xdf5f66D— Hedgeye (@Hedgeye) August 29, 2016
This is just the latest in a crop of worker-related lawsuits directed at the burrito giant. Earlier this month, a jury ruled that Chipotle had discriminated against a pregnant employee, ordering the chain to pay her $550,000 in damages. In February, a federal grand jury in Cincinnati, Ohio, ruled in favor of three former managers who sued the company for gender discrimination.
When reached for comment regarding the latest suit, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said, “We don’t believe there is any merit to the suit, but will reserve our discussion of details for the legal proceedings.”
• Nearly 10,000 Workers Sue Chipotle For Unpaid Wages [CNN Money]
• Chipotle Employee Says Company Needs to Hire More Workers [E]
• All Chipotle Coverage [E]