Top Dem urges Labor Dept. to investigate Chipotle for wage theft

Top Dem urges Labor Dept. to investigate Chipotle for wage theft
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Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Lack of child care poses major hurdle as businesses reopen Frustrations grow over incomplete racial data on COVID-19 cases, deaths MORE (D-Conn.) is calling on the Labor Department to investigate allegations that Chipotle Mexican Grill is failing to pay employees overtime.

According to media reports, nearly 10,000 workers from the fast casual Mexican restaurant chain have joined a class action lawsuit against the company for allegedly forcing employees to work “off the clock” hours without compensation.

The workers claim in the suit that Chipotle uses timekeeping technology that automatically punches workers off the clock, even if they are required to continue to work.

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In a letter Monday to the David Weil, the director of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, DeLauro demanded an investigation into the corporation’s labor practices and policies. 

“Wage and hour violations pose a serious and growing problem for working Americans across industries and wage theft disproportionately affects low-wage, hourly workers,” she said.

“A 2008 survey conducted by the National Employment Law Center of 4,387 low-wage workers in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago found that 68 percent of them experienced some form of wage theft in the workweek immediately before the survey was conducted.”

Chipotle is reportedly still struggling after an outbreak of E. coli late last year forced the company to temporarily close locations. In July, Mashable reported that Chipotle sales had dropped 16.6 percent to $998.4 million in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. 

The class action lawsuit comes as the restaurant works to regain the trust of customers.