The recent firing of a Chipotle employee in New York has led to allegations of unlawful workplace practices. The employee, who worked at a Chipotle Mexican Grill location in Manhattan, was allegedly fired for making complaints about problems at the workplace and for attempting to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against the Mexican fast-food chain on Dec. 12.
According to the general counsel for the NLRB, a manager threatened workers at the Manhattan Chipotle location. The manager allegedly told employees that they would be fired if they organized with a union and implied that they may be subjected to physical violence as well. Employees were also allegedly told that they would be promoted if they gave information about who was organizing.
The union that is involved in the Chipotle case is the Service Employees International Union, or 32BJ, the same union that has been attempting to organize McDonald’s workers. There have been legal setbacks in the McDonald’s union organizing because the chain restaurant is operated as a franchise. Chipotle, on the other hand, is owned and operated by a single corporate employer, which could make union organizing easier.
It is against U.S. labor law for an employer to retaliate against workers who engage in union organizing activities. If an employer is found to have intimated or retaliated against workers who are trying to organize, the employer may be sued for violating U.S. labor law. If an employee has had this type of experience and suffered a financial setback as a result, an attorney might be able to help the employee file a complaint against their employer. An attorney may also help the employee to pursue payment for damages.