In many businesses, working overtime may become necessary. Employees who are working those additional hours must be compensated according to federal and state labor laws. Texas workers who are illegally told to work off-the-clock and are not given the payment they have earned may fight back against their employer in an attempt to reclaim their lost wages.
An employee who worked for Chipotle claims that he was forced to work without pay after the restaurant’s closing time. He asserts that the company hosted meetings, trainings and other events after closing. It was mandatory for the workers to attend, but they were not allowed to be punched in. When the store closed and he had to stay over to clean, he alleges he was told to punch out and continue working.
Allegedly, after the plaintiff complained to his supervisors about the situation, he was told that he was not being a team player. For speaking up, he claims that he was retaliated against and began to receive fewer hours to work. Chipotle purportedly told its managers to have any work that was done after 12:30 a.m. to be performed after an employee punched out. The managers were then rewarded or punished according to how well they adhered to the payroll budget.
The plaintiff alleges that he was forced to work off-the-clock approximately 10 to 15 hours each week, and he is looking to be compensated for his lost wages, monetary damages and incurred legal costs. This is not the first time that Chipotle has been accused of wage theft, and another suit filed by four other workers is still active. It is illegal for Texas employers to force workers to clock out and then continue working unpaid. Employees in similar circumstances may file a claim against their employer to collect unpaid wages as well as any other financial relief awarded by the court.
Source: consumerist.com, “Lawsuit Alleges Chipotle Required Workers To Perform Duties Without Pay“, Ashlee Kieler, Oct. 16, 2014