Californians have the right to expect that their employer will adhere to all state and federal employment laws. Unfortunately, some employers will fail to follow through on that. Examples that often arise include not paying overtime, failing to give sick days and not providing the employee with vacation time. These instances do not just occur at low-profile jobs with smaller, unknown companies. In some cases, they happen with prominent employers whose have a corporate image that implies that they treat their employees far better than the law requires.
Recently, nearly 10,000 employees and former employees of the restaurant chain Chipotle filed a lawsuit against the company. According to the claim, they were denied overtime, and it happened across the country. The filing, a class action lawsuit, says that the company required employees to clock out and continue working until they were allowed to depart. One employee stated that she was asked several times to remain at work after she was no longer being paid. While Chipotle had been accused of wrongdoing in the past, this is the largest case they have faced.
Another former employee said that he was working at the restaurant as a second job. The schedule is supposed to conclude at 11:30 p.m., but it was nearly impossible for workers to be finished with their duties at that time. In one instance, this man worked until 1 a.m. He was told not to worry about the overtime pay, but was surprised when he received his paycheck and the extra hours were not included. Numerous employees agreed that such wage issues occurred to them or others they knew. With the system Chipotle uses, the majority of locations will clock the workers out at 12:30 a.m., but if they have not completed their tasks, they continue working. While managers are supposed to alter the hours that employees have worked, it does not always occur.
While Chipotle portrays itself as employee-friendly, these tactics appear to be prevalent and have served to deprive workers of overtime they have earned. This can happen in many different jobs and in some, the workers might not realize their rights or are too frightened of the prospect of losing the job or facing retaliation that they do not protest. This is a mistake. When an employer violates the law, employees and former employees have the right to seek compensation, and they can do so with help from an experienced attorney.
Source: CNN Money, “Nearly 10,000 workers sue Chipotle for unpaid wages,” Heather Long, Aug. 29, 2016