Employees are often forced to take legal action after they have been abused and exploited—many times in more than one way. In a lawsuit that was filed in May, a Chipotle manager is taking on the national chain for alleged abuses including racial discrimination and wage and hour violations. The plaintiff is also the class representative for a class-action lawsuit alleging a variety of labor law violations.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff worked at two Chipotle restaurants in San Luis Obispo for almost four years. She had been promoted to manager at the time of her termination in August 2013. The complaint alleges numerous acts of discrimination by her former supervisor. Our Los Angeles race discrimination attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees throughout California. If you believe that you have suffered from any form of discrimination, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate who can protect your rights. Victims of discrimination may be entitled to significant compensation.
The lawsuit states that the manager and plaintiff, who is African-American, suffered from daily harassment. She was requesting timely breaks when her manager told her to transfer to another location because she was black. When she reported one of the incidents to another manager, it was excused and no internal action was taken. The plaintiff is seeking general damages, lost wages and attorneys’ fees for her losses.
In addition to racial discrimination and public humiliation by her superiors, the former employee claims that she was repeatedly denied meal breaks. A defense attorney for Chipotle alleges that the manager was simply a disgruntled employee. According to the defense, her position was terminated because certain crew members complained about how she was treating them. The corporation alleges that the allegations of racial discrimination only arose after the termination.
Despite claims from Chipotle, news sources show that the plaintiff took her complaints to the CEO prior to her termination and prior to filing a lawsuit. The email details the mistreatment she received on a day to day basis. The CEO returned her message and promised to investigate the culture at her local restaurant, but she never heard from him and was terminated shortly after. Her attorney filed a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment of Housing and was given a “right to sue” letter in the winter of 2013.
According to the plaintiff’s attorney, she had contacted him numerous times, seeking counsel on hour and wage violations. An L.A. based employee was already preparing a class-action on behalf of Chipotle throughout the state. The class-action was filed March 20 in Los Angeles County Superior Court and names the former manager as one of the lead plaintiffs. According to the lawsuit, Chipotle misclassifies is managers as exempt, denying them pay and meal breaks. The company also under reports wages earned by hourly employee to evade state and federal tax law. Individuals who have suffered from racial discrimination or who have been denied wages or breaks should consult with an experienced employment law attorney. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses.
Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 949.375.4734.
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