- Written by The Saqui Law Group
On Wednesday, a federal jury cleared Chipotle Mexican Grill (“Chipotle”) of any wrongdoing against an assistant manager who claimed she was fired as a result of taking time off after a miscarriage to seek mental health treatment.
The suit was filed on June 29, 2017 in federal court in California’s Central District by Lucia Cortez (“Cortez”) who, at the time, was an assistant store manager and had worked for the Chipotle for eight years. In 2016, Cortez suffered a miscarriage at work after years of trying to get pregnant. As a result, she fell into a deep depression and needed to seek mental health treatment. Cortez requested time off to recover under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and her manager gave her 12 weeks off of unpaid and job-protected leave as required under the FMLA. After 12 weeks, Cortez asked for an additional month off to sort out final doctor’s appointments. Cortez’s manager “only” allowed her to take a week off as a courtesy since she had exhausted her 12 weeks of FMLA. However, Cortez went behind her manager’s back and elected to call Chipotle’s benefits center to extend her leave another month without any notification to her manager. Chipotle’s benefit center granted her request for the additional month of leave but her manager had not provided his approval.
- Written by Gregory Blueford
On Monday, in a split decision, the California Court of Appeal Second District ruled that employees who are required to call in before an on-call shift, but never physically report to work, may be entitled to reporting time pay.
Plaintiff Skylar Ward (“Ward”) worked for Tilly’s, a retail clothing store with locations throughout California and the United States. In 2012, Ward worked as a sales clerk at the Torrance, California location. During her employment with Tilly’s, plaintiff and other employees were scheduled to work a combination of “regular” and “on-call” shifts (also referred to as “call-in” shifts”). For on-call shifts, Tilly’s required that employees call the store two hours before the start of their on-call shift (or by 9:00 p.m. the night before if their on-call shift was scheduled to begin earlier than 10:00 a.m.) to ascertain whether or not they would come into work that day depending on the foot traffic at the store. Tilly’s told employees that they should consider their on-call shift a “definite thing” until they are actually told they do not need to come in and were disciplined if they failed to contact their stores before on-call shifts. Importantly, and the crux of this case, is that employees were only paid if they were required to actually come into the store and work.