LOS ANGELES — Mexican-fast food chain Chipotle recently avoided paying a potentially substantial award when a federal judge hearing an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit brought by seven former store managers in training decertified the group. The plaintiffs hoped to bring the claim on behalf of themselves and an estimated 500 other similarly affected workers accusing the Denver, Colorado-based company of failing to pay overtime wages under state and federal labor laws.
The judge decertified the class on a technicality, holding the managers at various locations performed slightly different duties and were therefore not similarly situated enough to bring an unpaid overtime lawsuit on a class action basis. However, the plaintiffs may still be able to bring individual claims to recover lost wages and unpaid earnings due to Chipotle misclassifying them as overtime exempt workers.
The proceeding was a small victory for Chipotle, which currently faces a massive class action lawsuit originally filed in 2014 by 10,000 current and former workers claiming the defendant forced employees to work off the clock to meet payroll expectations. A U.S. Court of Appeals recently rejected a motion by Chipotle to decertify that class, paving the way for the claim to proceed back down in a lower federal District Court.
When am I Entitled to Overtime?
Almost all hourly wage earners in the country are entitled to overtime wages equal to one and a half times their regular rate of pay for time spent on the job above the 40-hour overtime threshold, regardless of whatever excuses managers and supervisors may give to the contrary. While state and federal wage laws, like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), are very clear about when and why workers receive overtime wages, some companies come up with creative way to try and get around these important laws.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, wage theft victims may be entitled to back wages, interest on unpaid earnings, liquidated damages, and attorneys fees to cover the cost of litigation. Concerned workers should speak to a qualified overtime pay attorney about their case if they have questions.
Fast Food Manager Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.