As if the lawsuits following the food poisoning were not enough, Chipotle Mexican Grill is now in more legal trouble. This time it is to do with several sex discrimination charges in Cincinnati.
Several former female managers have just filed suit against this fast food restaurant chain on allegations that they were wrongly terminated by a former manager who favored male general managers rather females. They claim that this occurred despite the fact that the three women in question had received similar or better performance evaluations. One of the female managers claims that the company violated the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
The trial is set to begin on Monday when both parties will offer opening statements to the jury on whether the three employees were wrongly terminated based on their gender.
Sex discrimination as defined by The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an act that “involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”
The plaintiff’s attorney, Randy Freking has alleged that Chipotle Mexican Grill Manager, Herman Mobbs, was a racist who was demeaning to women and often ridiculed them by calling them “overweight” and “too emotional.” On the other hand, the defendants charge that these plaintiffs were simply disgruntled workers with a poor performance record and did not take their job seriously.
This case goes back at least 5 years when the three women worked as general managers for the Chipotle Mexican Grill Fast food stores in Cincinnati. Court documents indicate that Mobbs would visit the stores and was initially very impressed. Yet, all three of the female general managers were replaced by male employees. In one case, there was retaliation by Mobbs when the female manager took maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Chipotle lawyer, Kate Mowry, has stated that all three women were terminated based solely on work performance and not their gender. She has stated that Mobbs hired and fired both female and male employees.
The case is expected to last 2 weeks. Proving job discrimination in this case will be difficult especially because the manager, Mobbs, frequently hired and fired both genders. Overall success rate for such cases in Federal court is very low for plaintiffs.