Do Pending Lawsuits Suggest US Companies Are Getting Shady?

Friday, 07 Sep 2012 08:55 AM

By Michelle Smith

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Lawsuits against popular U.S. companies might suggest Americans need to pay closer attention to their receipts and their pay stubs.

Both Chipotle Mexican Grill and Forever 21 are being sued for skimming pennies, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A lawsuit filed in a federal court in California alleges that the Mexican eatery “routinely overcharged” its customers. The complaint appears to stem from a practice of rounding to the nearest five cents.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

Chipotle claims it's a time saving measure used in especially busy stores, the Times reports. Since the company claims to round both up and down, Chipotle adds that it is not making a profit.

The lawsuit against clothing retailer Forever 21, filed in Miami, resulted after the retailer allegedly short-changed a lawyer, who is now suing and seeking to boost her case to class action status.

“She tried to get returns for two items and, each time, was credited back a penny less than what she paid,” according to the Times.

The paper says Forever 21 declined to comment.

Another case filed in the Miami federal court Thursday accused Darden Restaurants of underpaying employees. The claims include failure to pay federally mandated minimum wages and requiring employees to work off the clock.

According to the Huffington Post, similar lawsuits are pending in Illinois and New York, but the one filed in Florida, is the first seeking to represent all Darden workers at its four major brands: Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille.

Though only two plaintiffs are named in the Miami lawsuit, the goal is to collectively represent a much larger group, including current and former employees dating back as far as 2009.

Darden spokesperson Rich Jeffers is quoted by Reuters as saying the company takes “any claims of impropriety seriously.” He adds that the named plaintiffs did not attempt to resolve their allegations using the internal dispute resolution process.

“We believe they are baseless and fly in the face of our values and how we operate our business,” Jeffers said.

But, this is not the first time Darden has faced such allegations and they have paid up in the past.

Just last year, Darden paid more than $27,000 in back pay and a nearly $24,000 civil penalty for labor violations involving 109 current and former employees in Lubbock, Texas, the Huffington Post reports.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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