Chipotle is having a rough year – at least in regards to legal allegations. From class action food poisoning lawsuits, animal welfare issues, drops in both sales and stock price…the popular restaurant chain can’t seem to catch a break in 2016. What are they facing now? Chipotle is making news again, but this time because they are facing allegations of racial discrimination and harassment at one of their California franchise locations.
The California lawsuit filed by Sheqweshu Clark, a previous employee at the El Segndo, California location, states that Latino managers assign day shifts to other Latino employees, but leave “black” staff, like herself, with the less desirable night shifts. But this is not the only claim being made by Clark in the recent lawsuit. She also alleges that management denied there was a problem with either shift assignment or discrimination and then fired Clark a few weeks later without offering an explanation. Clark claims she when she attempted to confront by Chipotle supervisors about preferential treatment, she was summarily dismissed and advised that “black girls” always have “attitude.” Formal allegations included in the lawsuit against Chipotle include: retaliation, wrongful termination, workplace harassment, racial discrimination, and failure to prevent harassment.
Chipotle is not commenting on the allegations at this time, but do state that they have received the suit and will consider its merits in order to determine a course of action. The Chipotle spokesperson did advise that, generally speaking, the filing of a lawsuit constitutes a series of allegations, but does not actually represent proof of wrongdoing.
If you have questions about wrongful termination, discrimination in the workplace, or workplace retaliation, please contact one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik as soon as possible.