Wednesday, September 14, 2016

DeLauro Calls on U.S. Department of Labor to Investigate Chipotle for Wage Theft Against Nearly 10,000 Workers

Workers allege that the corporation forced them to work “off the clock” hours without compensation

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor, urging the agency to open an investigation into Chipotle Mexican Grill for recent allegations that the corporation has engaged in wage theft against its employees.

Nearly 10,000 workers from restaurants across the country have joined a class action lawsuit against Chipotle, alleging that they were forced to work “off the clock” hours without receiving compensation for those hours, or overtime pay. The workers also allege that Chipotle uses timekeeping technology that automatically punches workers off the clock, even if they are required to continue to work.

“Wage and hour violations pose a serious and growing problem for working Americans across industries, and wage theft disproportionately affects low-wage, hourly workers. 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,” DeLauro wrote in the letter.

“These accusations are in direct contradiction to federal wage and hour law, as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, depriving workers of the wages and earnings to which they are legally entitled.  I urge you to immediately conduct a thorough investigation into these claims.  We must hold employers who violate their employees’ rights accountable,” continued DeLauro.

Earlier this year, DeLauro introduced the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act, which would crack down on employers who engage in wage theft. This bill would give workers the right to receive full compensation for all of the work they perform, as well as the right to receive regular paystubs and final paychecks in a timely manner. It would also provide workers with improved tools to recover their stolen wages in court and make assistance available to build community partnerships that enhance the enforcement of and improve compliance with wage and hour laws.

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