A Chick-Fil-A In North Carolina Was Fined Over Its "Volunteer" Program That Paid People In Meals Instead Of Wages

The Department of Labor fined the Chick-fil-A franchisee $6,450 in addition to $235 in back pay to the seven employees.

A sign outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant

The owner of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina who illegally paid some workers with meal vouchers instead of wages as part of the franchisee’s “volunteer” program was fined more than $6,000 by the Department of Labor.

According to a report by the DOL, the Chick-fil-A location in Hendersonville owned by Good Name 22:1 LLC paid seven of its workers who were asked to direct traffic for the drive-thru in meal vouchers instead of the legally required minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. In a now-deleted Facebook post in July, the Chick-fil-A location posted a job opening that asked for “volunteers” to work its drive-thru for five free entrees per one-hour shift.

Hey @ChickfilA can you explain why your allowing a franchisee to hire unpaid positions? This is unacceptable. #chickfila #unionize

Twitter: @Bona_Bones

Although the franchisee took the Facebook post down, a lot of people expressed their outrage at the “volunteer” program on social media.

“The national median monthly rent price is $2,000, or 466 Chick-fil-A sandwiches,” one person tweeted.

“Don't think there are too many landlords around that will accept sandwiches as a form of rent payment,” another Twitter user wrote.

The franchisee was ultimately fined $6,450 in addition to $235 in back pay to the seven employees.

The DOL also found that the location employed teenagers to perform hazardous jobs, including operating a trash compactor.

In the statement, Richard Blaylock, the North Carolina wage and hour division district director, said protecting the youngest workers is his department’s top priority.

“Child labor laws ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities,” Blaylock said. “In addition, employers are responsible to pay workers for all of the hours worked and the payment must be made in cash or legal tender.”

Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

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