An administrative judge found Chipotle’s social media policy violated federal labor laws while ruling in favor of a Philadelphia area employee who was fired after criticizing the company on Twitter last year.
The Colorado-based fast-food chain must offer to rehire James Kennedy, 38, and pay him for lost wages, administrative law judge Susan Flynn ruled Monday.
Kennedy worked at the chain’s store in Havertown, Pa., west of Philadelphia, until he was fired in February 2015. He now works for American Airlines.
The social media post that landed Kennedy in hot water came after a customer tweeted thanks for a free food offer in January 2015.
“@ChipotleTweets, nothing is free, only cheap #labor. Crew members make only $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?” Kennedy responded.
Kennedy took down the tweet after a supervisor showed him a social media policy that banned “disparaging, false” statements about Chipotle. He was fired two weeks later after circulating a petition about workers being unable to take breaks.
At a hearing, Kennedy’s manager testified that she fired him because she feared he would become violent after arguing with her about the petition.
A Chipotle spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.
A former Federal Reserve Bank of New York employee was spared prison Wednesday for leaking confidential documents to a friend at Goldman Sachs.
Jason Gross, 37, was fined $2,000 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in New York and sentenced to a year of probation with community service after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft of government property.
Prosecutors had sought six to 12 months in prison for Gross, who in November admitted to giving confidential information to Rohit Bansal, his former supervisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who left to work at Goldman Sachs.
According to prosecutors and New York regulators, Bansal obtained numerous documents from Gross after joining Goldman Sachs in July 2014. Those documents included some pertaining to examinations of a bank that Goldman was advising about a potential transaction, regulators said. In November, Bansal pleaded guilty to theft of government property. He will be sentenced Tuesday.
● Consumer prices in the United States, excluding food and fuel, climbed in February for a second month, adding to signs inflation is moving closer to the Federal Reserve’s target. The overall cost of living fell amid cheaper fuel. The core measure rose 0.3 percent from a month earlier, the same as in January, figures from the Labor Department showed Wednesday. The last time there were back-to-back gains of 0.3 percent was in early 2001. The overall consumer-price index declined 0.2 percent.
● Factory production rose in February for a second month, boosted by demand for business equipment and indicating U.S. manufacturing may be starting to stabilize. The 0.2 percent increase in output followed a 0.5 percent gain in January, data from the Federal Reserve showed. It marked the first back-to-back advance since March-April 2015. Total industrial production dropped 0.5 percent as utility output plunged.
● New-home construction in the United States rose in February, led by the strongest single-family building in more than eight years, signaling continued confidence in demand for residential real-estate. Housing starts in February climbed 5.2 percent to a 1.18 million annualized rate from a 1.12 million pace the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed. Building permits dropped 3.1 percent in February to a 1.17 million annualized rate. Construction of single-family houses increased to an 822,000 rate, the most since November 2007, the report showed.
● Package delivery company FedEx said its quarterly profit was hurt by costs related to its pending acquisition of Dutch package firm TNT and settling a legal case over FedEx Ground drivers, but gave a strong earnings forecast that sent shares up nearly 5 percent. The Memphis-based company reported net income for its fiscal third quarter ending Feb. 29 of $507 million or $1.84 per share, down nearly 20 percent from $628 million or $2.18 a share a year earlier. Excluding those onetime items, the company reported a profit of $692 million or earnings per share of $2.51. Revenue rose 9 percent to $12.7 billion, driven in a large part by a 30 percent jump in revenue at its FedEx Ground unit to $4.41 billion from $3.39 billion a year earlier.
● 8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims.
● 8:30 a.m.: Commerce Department releases account trade measure for the fourth quarter.
● 10 a.m.: Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
● ● 10 a.m.: Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for January.
— From news services