Mexico

Former Chipotle Manager Settles Defamation Suit Against Restaurant Chain

Chipotle Store Closure
AP

A fired Chipotle Mexican Grill manager who alleged that one of his superiors falsely told others in the workplace that he was the subject of a sexual harassment accusation settled his lawsuit with his former employer, according to court papers his attorneys filed Tuesday.

Juan Poor's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, brought in November 2017, alleged defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress and named area manager Scotty Shadix as an additional defendant.

The court papers filed by Poor's lawyer, Tara Licata, did not divulge the settlement terms.

Chipotle attorneys maintained in their court papers that Shadix's comments were both "truthful and privileged."

The statements were made during the course of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made by four of Poor's subordinates, according to the Chipotle attorneys' court papers.

Poor, who was the general manager of the Chipotle location in Malibu, stated he was fired in October 2017 during a meeting at the Simi Valley store with Shadix and the location's general manager.

"Here's your check, you're not working for the company anymore," Shadix told Poor, according to the complaint.

After Poor asked for the name of his accuser and for details about her complaint, Shadix replied, "We cannot give you any more details or information at this time," the complaint alleges.

Poor alleged the company unjustly fired him without conducting an investigation regarding the sexual harassment complaint.

Despite the firing, Shadix and another Chipotle manager gave the plaintiff positive recommendation letters to show future prospective employers, his suit stated.

Poor worked for the company for nearly 10 years as a general manager and assistant manager and had a "stellar work record," the complaint stated.

"He had an incredible work ethic and worked massive hours, was always available and was completely responsible," according to the lawsuit.

Poor was behind the economic success of the Woodland Hills store, where he supervised about 24 employees, the suit stated.

He was named the Malibu store's general manager in July 2017.

The same day Poor lost his job, others at Chipotle were told of the sexual harassment allegations against him, which were false and defamatory on their face, according to the complaint.

Two days after his firing, Poor asked Shadix for a recommendation letter that he could take to a job interview, and in October 2017, Shadix and his boss, Ben Castillo, both provided "glowing" and "fabulous" correspondences on the plaintiff's behalf, the lawsuit stated.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us