Fired Employee's Anti-Chipotle Tweets Ruled Okay By Judge

Photo: Courtesy of Chipotle.
Chipotle has had a stormy couple months — most notably, the ongoing outbreaks of E. coli and a sexual discrimination suit brought on in late January. And it looks like the wildly popular burrito chain’s problems aren’t done yet. In a ruling on Wednesday, a judge deemed Chipotle’s social media policy illegal.

The suit was brought on by James Kennedy, who was fired from his position at a Philadelphia-area Chipotle in 2015. In response to a free burrito giveaway, he tweeted “@ChipotleTweets, nothing is free, only cheap #labor. Crew members make only $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?”

Kennedy was reprimanded for the tweet and dismissed two weeks later, when he was found collecting signatures on a petition asking for breaks during employees’ shifts.

The policy in question forbade employees to post “disparaging, false” statements on their social media accounts. The judge for the case ruled it to be in violation of federal labor laws and ordered the chain to rehire Kennedy and pay him for lost wages.

"You cannot deny that their food is delicious, but their labor policies were atrocious,” Kennedy told ABC News, including that he would accept compensation for the lost wages in the form of vouchers for free food. (Eater)

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