A former teenage employee for Chipotle in Houston has won $7.65 million after the jury found that she had been subjected to outrageous sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The female employee in question was 16 years of age when she was hired to work at Chipotle in 2013. Over a four-month period, she was forced to have sexual intercourse and perform oral sex on two of her male managers. It started with her 26-year-old assistant supervisor touching her breasts while pretending it was accidental. It soon progressed to repeated touching by this supervisor. She engaged in more than 50 instances of unprotected sexual activity with this assistant manager. The testimony provided at trial was very graphic. The woman’s mother claimed that she told the general manager.
Chipotle was found to be at fault for failing to supervise and train its managers. It tried to define the acts between the teenager and assistant manager as a relationship during trial. After a two-week trial, the jury took just three and a half hours to reach their verdict. Chipotle has asserted that the company was unaware of the relationship between the teen and her manager, which purportedly took place off site. The company stated, “[B]ut even our rigorous policies specifically designed to protect our employees cannot prevent private relationships that happen away from the workplace…” The assistant manager is believed to have gone to Mexico to avoid criminal prosecution.