A woman from New Jersey has sued Chipotle claiming that the burrito maker cheated her out of overtime in the thousands of dollars that she said she deserves.
Carmen Alvarez is claiming that she routinely worked over 50 hours per week, but Chipotle only paid her for working 40 hours.
The lawsuit that was filed on Wednesday alleges that Chipotle willfully denied the worker as well as other apprentices overtime pay for the hours that were in over the normal 40 hours per week.
Chipotle has denied any wrongdoing.
A spokesperson for Chipotle said that the practices by the company related to employment are complaint with all applicable laws.
The spokesperson added that all a lawsuit is, is an allegation and is not proof of anything.
Alvarez worked as an apprentice for Chipotle from 2014 through March of 2017, shows documents in the suit. It is the training program at the company to become a manager of a store.
However, Alvarez alleges that she spend most of her time on the assembly line making burritos, bowls and tacos that the customers crave.
The suit says due to Alvarez doing mostly grunt work and earning just a modest wage, she should have the right to earn overtime under federal and New Jersey law.
However, Chipotle classified Alvarez and the other people in the apprentice program as managers who are paid a salary and not entitled to any overtime pay for working over 40 hours.
The suit by Alvarez comes following a very large class action suit filed during last summer where over 10,000 workers at Chipotle from across the country allege the burrito maker chain forced them into working extra without being paid.
The issue with the lawsuit filed by Alvarez is if the apprentices at Chipotle should be given a label as manager or hourly workers, as managers are not paid overtime.
Federal law has two important criteria in figuring out if a job position should be deemed management. One is how much money the person earns and the second is what duties are they responsible for.
For a number of years the Department of Labor in the U.S. said companies were able to classify workers making as little as $23,600 per year, who had a role that was professional or executive, as managers.
However, as of December 1, new rules for overtime started that said only those employees paid $47,476 per year and higher and carrying out management duties could be salaried executives.