A former employee who sued Chipotle for firing her because she got pregnant has won her case.
A district court jury in Washington DC awarded Doris Garcia Hernandez $550,000 in her case against the burrito chain, CNBC reported. Hernandez, who worked as a food prep worker in a Washington, D.C. location from 2011 to 2012, said her supervisor made her ask for approval for water and bathroom breaks and announce them to all employees in the store. She was fired after she left work early for a pre-natal doctor's appointment.
Hernandez isn't the only Chipotle employee to claim she was unfairly terminated on the basis of her gender or pregnancy. This year, a jury in Cincinnati ruled in favor of three female former general managers who said they were discriminated against based on their gender, the New York Post reports. They were awarded in $600,000. Additionally, a woman in Culver City, Calif. received a jury award of $109,580 for her wrongful termination on the basis of her gender and pregnancy.
The jury award comes in the wake of the E.coli outbreak in 2015 that caused customers to suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses -- and sent the company's stock plunging as a result. The chain has tried to atone for the problem by offering vouchers for free burritos and temporarily closing restaurants to address quality control, yet problems have persisted sporadically throughout the year.
What to Do if You Face Job Discrimination
If you're being discriminated against at work -- including sexual harassment -- there are certain steps you can take the combat the problem. Make sure you document the behavior as it happens, consult trusted advisors inside and outside of the company, and look into filing a formal complaint with human resources.