Chipotle allegedly held “cleaning parties” where employees were forced to clean restaurants without pay, CNN Money reports.
Former Chipotle employee Araceli Gutierrez told CNN Money that as a member of the “prep crew,” she would come into work on her off days to attend the so-called “cleaning parties.”
Gutierrez says she was under the impression that she was getting paid for the extra time, but later found out she was never compensated.
She was eventually promoted to kitchen manager and said she remembered getting phone calls from managers warning her that labor costs were too high, and instructing her to get her employees to clock out – meaning they wouldn’t be paid for continuing to work.
“There were days I would work 15 hours, and I would only clock in for an eight-hour shift,” Gutierrez told CNN Money.
Gutierrez is one of the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit accusing Chipotle of forcing employees to work without pay after their scheduled shifts ended.
“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,” the suit reads.
The lawsuit is called Turner v. Chipotle, after Leah Turner, a former manager at a Chipotle restaurant in Colorado. Turner claimed in a complaint filed in 2014 that “general managers are awarded bonuses and other compensation for staying within their payroll budgets. If a payroll budget is exceeded, the general manager’s job security is threatened.”
Chipotle has denied any wrongdoing.
“We don’t believe this suit as any merit, but will save our discussion of details for the legal proceedings,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider.