Last year, Chipolte Mexican Grill made headlines for removing food items that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) from its restaurants. Many people here in Texas and elsewhere applauded the fast food chain for this move. Chipolte has made the news once again, but this time there might not be applause since one of the company's former employees is accusing it of wrongful termination.
The woman began working for the company in June 2012. Since that time, she was promoted on more than one occasion. At some point last year, the woman was absent from work after having a baby. When she returned in December, things had changed.
Another employee at the same California location, who was a Latino woman, had been promoted to manager. The African American woman who filed the lawsuit alleges that the manager would give other Latino workers the prime shifts. The remainder of the shifts would be given to everyone else.
When the plaintiff complained to another Latino manager, she said she was told that she had an attitude because she is a black woman. After going above that manager's head, the district manager allegedly did not believe the woman but said that she would handle the scheduling nonetheless. A month later, the plaintiff was fired.
After taking her concerns to the human resources department with no response, the wrongful termination lawsuit was ultimately filed. As would be the case here in Texas, if the case goes to trial, the woman will have the opportunity to present evidence to substantiate her claims. If the court rules that she was wrongfully terminated, she could receive monetary and/or non-monetary damages as the court deems appropriate.
Source: consumerist.com, "Lawsuit: Chipotle Worker Fired After Complaining That Coworkers Got Preferential Treatment", Mary Beth Quirk, Sept. 14, 2016