Chipotle May Need to Unwrap Its Crisis Plan for Unlawful Termination Lawsuit

food with integrity

Chipotle is one of this nation’s most admired brands because of its dedication to natural food, catchy headlines, and eco-responsibility. To wit, you rarely hear about any drama in the house of the fatty (burrito).

Until now…

Meet Natasha Velez, 27, from Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She was a dedicated burrito aficionado until she was fired for allegedly recovering from domestic abuse and had “too many issues outside of work.”

Yeah, that’s the perception police on the white courtesy phone.

natasha and nalaNatasha was apparently in a relationship with a fool that needs a good @$$-whoopin’ because he thinks it is a manly thing to beat up on a woman. One night, during a New Year’s Eve heated imbroglio, ex-boyfriend and current douchenozzle beat her into submission, choked her, and fractured her index finger.

Being slightly in-need of some rest, Natasha took four weeks to recover. Upon her return to Chipotle, the New York Post reports that although she showed her boss police records of the attack that featured her finger in a splint, her manager “fired her on the spot” for having “too many issues.”

And now, this beloved brand is faced with a civil-rights lawsuit that landed in Manhattan’s federal court.

“Chipotle discriminated against Ms. Velez on the basis of her actual and/or perceived status as a domestic violence victim, including by terminating her employment,” the suit says.

According to the New York Daily NewsNatasha was upset, largely because she is a single mom to Nala, her three-month-old daughter. Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark in the cilantro-lime rice.

“I’m like, ‘Let go? I don’t understand why.’ And he said, ‘Oh, well, you have too many outside issues. There’s nothing wrong with your job performance. It’s just your situation outside work … It’s been a bumpy ride since losing my job,” she said, rocking Nala in her arms in her spare but neat East Harlem home. “Before, I was consistent with paying my bills. Now I’m in housing court for my apartment. I have a newborn baby. I’m struggling to provide for her, let alone myself.”

Chipotle has denied comment so far. If you ran crisis communications for this widely respected brand, what would you say? They need to decide quickly because if they don’t, the next thing rolling up will be that armored truck Chipotle needs to fill with Natasha’s undisclosed damages.


Publish date: April 21, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT