Chipotle and the Battle for Unpaid Wages

Chipotle and the Battle for Unpaid Wages

It’s a pretty well-established fact that workers should be paid for their work. And yet, large companies still face accusations of mishandling timesheets, requesting off-the-clock work, not paying overtime, and just generally treating employees poorly.

Employees are a company’s greatest resource. They provide the talent and skills to get the job done. They are front facing—meeting and helping clients and customers daily and providing service that reflects back onto their employers.

So why is Chipotle being sued for unpaid wages?

Chipotle’s Class Action Lawsuit for Unpaid Wages

A month ago, nearly 10,000 former and current Chipotle employees filed a class action suit alleging they’d been victims of wage theft. According to the CNN article, they were forced to work off the clock. The plaintiffs claim this was a common practice across the nation.

The suit, Turner v. Chipotle, was initially brought by a former manager who stated she worked without pay and was directed to have subordinates work off the clock in order to make budget. If the attorneys handling the case are able to show that Chipotle management instructed staff to partake in illegal wage theft, there could be grave financial consequences for the company.

As it stands, there’s a high probability Chipotle will settle out of court. After all, they’re just recently bouncing back from some highly publicized cases of food poisoning. Media attention around their payment practices and more scrutiny into the company is probably the last thing they want right now. Even with a settlement, they’ll end up paying back their employees and possibly more as part of punitive damages.

Defining Unpaid Wages

If any of this is sounding familiar to you, here are some common types of unpaid wages to consider. Take a look and approach your employer with your concerns. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching your employer, consider calling an employee hotline or discussing your problems with a Tampa unpaid wages lawyer.

Unpaid (Regular) Wages: If you work an hour, you should be paid for an hour. Unpaid wages occur when your timesheet is edited or you are otherwise shorted wages for time worked.

Unpaid Overtime: If you are entitled to overtime and have worked more than 40 hours in a week, your employer should pay you time and a half for any time over the 40 hours. If instead, they carry over your hours to another week or only pay you regular time, they are not paying you properly.

Wage Theft: If you are told you need to work off-the-clock for whatever reason, this is considered wage theft. Even if you have made a mistake and someone is requesting you fix it, you should never be asked to work off the clock.

There are times when we all make mistakes, whether we forget to clock in or out for a shift or we accidentally edit a timesheet improperly. If you’ve forgotten to clock in or out, make sure to bring it up to your manager as soon as possible so they can fix your time. If you find an error on your timesheet, let a manager know so they go into their timekeeping system and adjust as necessary. If, however, there seems to be a consistent shorting of wages, you may be a victim of illegal employment practices.

Consulting with a Tampa Unpaid Wages Lawyer

Do you believe your employer has withheld wages from you? If you’ve spoken to your employer and gotten nowhere, consulting with a Tampa unpaid wages lawyer should be your next step.

You’re entitled to the wages you’ve worked for, whether they’re unpaid overtime or pay for hours you were forced to work off the clock. A Tampa unpaid wages lawyer can help you negotiate with your employer or bring legal action if necessary.

Everyone should be paid for their work. Don’t let an employer take advantage of you—contact a Tampa unpaid wages lawyer today.