Workers prepare food at a Chipotle in Billerica, Mass. (Rodrique Ngowi/AP)
Judge rules against Chipotle in firing

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.

— Associated Press

Ex-N.Y. Fed worker gets probation in leak

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.

— Reuters

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