Chick-Fil-A Store tried to recruit ‘volunteers’ who would only be paid in food – NBC10 Philadelphia
A North Carolina fast food franchisee is facing a backlash for the “pay” he offered during a recent job posting.
On July 26, a Hendersonville Chick-fil-A site posted some sort of job posting on its public Facebook page. In the lobby, the restaurant asked for “volunteers” to work its drive-thru – not for cash, but for Chick-fil-A entrees.
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express! Earn 5 free entries per shift (1 hour) worked,” reads the now-deleted Facebook post. “Send us a message for more details.”
While this deal could net up to five potential Chick-fil-A “Cool Wraps” “volunteers” at $7.29 per shift, that amount would only translate to four cents more than minimum wage. current $7.25 an hour in North Carolina.
Although franchisee Chick-fil-A deleted the post a day later, the backlash was swift and can still be found bubbling on social media.
“Can I volunteer to own the store and then fire any clown who came up with a volunteer work idea?” asked a Facebook user.
“This must be reported to the state labor department. For-profit companies are not allowed to use volunteers, especially not volunteers who would displace paid employees. Volunteers are paid in securities,” someone commented on Reddit. “It’s also a HUGE liability issue for the store.”
“Hey @ChickfilA can you explain why you are allowing a franchisee to hire unpaid positions? This is unacceptable,” wrote a Twitter user.
“The national median monthly rental price is $2,000, or 466 Chick-fil-A sandwiches,” tweeted another user.
“Imagine not paying people to work and making a post about the appreciation of the work they all do in the same breath,” someone on the Hendersonville Chick-fil-A Facebook page commented on a post without related to the list. Following the influx of critics, it appears the fast food outlet’s publications have limited who can comment on its page.
“Thank you for everyone’s concern about this,” the outlet wrote in the comments to its now-deleted post. “It’s a volunteer-based opportunity, which means people can choose to volunteer if they think it’s right for them. Several people have signed up and enjoy doing it and have done it many times. The people who register for it have chosen it voluntarily. We’re always hiring full-time and part-time team members, so if you’re interested in working at our store, we pay $19/hr.
While it’s common for food establishments to offer employees free meals like Chipotle or Starbucks, these companies also typically offer monetary compensation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a for-profit company cannot hire volunteers to work, and employees cannot provide volunteer services to for-profit private sector employers.
TODAY Food contacted Joel Benson, the restaurateur at the Chick-fil-A site in North Carolina, for comment and an employee directed us to the company’s headquarters. Chick-fil-A has not yet responded to our request for comment, but a spokesperson told Business Insider that the company does not endorse the program and the restaurant has decided to end it.
“Most restaurants are privately owned and operated, and this was a program at a privately owned restaurant,” they said.
On Thursday evening, Benson posted an update on Facebook.
“After carefully reviewing the claims and other details brought to our attention, as you may have done, we have decided to discontinue this program and proceed no further,” he wrote in part. . “We are always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our raving fans and positively impact our community and team members. Unfortunately, this time around we have brought unnecessary negativity and regional attention/ national misplaced to our city. I apologize for this and will continue to make every effort to treat our guests with honor, dignity and respect. This idea was a bit too creative and the consequences unintended.
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