LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former Chipotle employee sued the restaurant chain Tuesday, claiming she was fired for complaining that her Latino co-workers got preferential treatment.
Sheqweshu Clark, who worked at a Chipotle in El Segundo, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing the restaurant chain of racial discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, workplace harassment and failure to prevent harassment.
The plaintiff said she began working at the El Segundo eatery in June 2012 as a crew employee and was promoted several times.
Her problems began after she returned from maternity leave last December, according to her lawsuit.
After a Latina was promoted to the new district manager position, she and two other Latino managers began giving Latino employees more favorable day shifts while assigning night duty to Clark and other black workers, the suit alleged.
When the plaintiff complained to a male Latino manager, he brushed her off and said “black girls always have an attitude,” the suit stated.
Clark said when she spoke to the district manager in January about the alleged unfair treatment, the district manager denied there was a problem, but said she would set the employees’ schedules from then on, according to the plaintiff.
But later in January, the district manager fired Clark without an explanation, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff claimed she then took her complaints to the company’s human resources department but did not get a response.
But Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold did issue this statement: “We only now received the suit and will evaluate its merits and determine a course of action,” the statement read. “Generally speaking, however, a lawsuit is nothing more that a series of allegations and does not constitute proof of any wrongdoing on our part.”