A former employee is suing In-N-Out, accusing it of violating labor laws and COVID protocols in California

  • A former In-N-Out employee says he was fired for taking sick time and reporting COVID violations.
  • The chain called the claims “baseless and false.”
  • The employee is seeking payout for each claim of labor law violation through California courts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A former In-N-Out employee filed a lawsuit accusing the chain of violating the state labor code and COVID-19 protocols, National Restaurant News reported.

Luis Becerra’s June 7 complaint accuses In-N-Out of retaliation for using sick leave and engaging in protected activities, failing to enforce COVID safety regulations, and not paying wages owed at the end of employment. Becerra worked for In-N-Out for five years until May 2020, when he says he was unfairly terminated.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always cared for our associates as if they are our own family and we are disappointed with the baseless and false claims that Mr. Becerra has made in his lawsuit,” the chain’s chief legal and business officer Arnie Wensinger told Insider.

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Becerra claims in the lawsuit that In-N-Out did not enforce the safety measures required by the LA Health Department, including social distancing, personal protective equipment, and placing sick employees on medical leave.

“Mr. Becerra saw all of this going on, so he reported it. … In-N-Out responded by using improper write-ups it had issued against Mr. Becerra for taking short, valid medical leaves as false justification to terminate him.” Becerra’s representative Rene Potter told Law 360.

Becerra said he was fired for taking sick time in May 2020 related to his asthma and that In-N-Out told him the official reason he was terminated was a forged medical note, listing “providing false documentation” and exhausting sick pay. He also said he never received his final paycheck.

Becerra is asking for civil penalties on behalf of himself and other In-N-Out employees for each individual labor code violation in accordance with California law, along with attorney’s fees.

Other fast-food chains have faced accusations of violating labor law related to sick leave over the last year. In April, New York City sued Chipotle, accusing the chain of illegally denying requests for time off and not paying workers for the time they took. The city said that Chipotle owed over $150 million to workers.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

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Canada’s second-biggest bank is giving staff a subscription to meditation app Headspace and an extra day off

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Bank of Canada, Dave McKay, addresses shareholders at the bank's 146th annual meeting, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
President and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, Dave McKay, addresses shareholders at the bank’s 146th annual meeting, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

  • Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay said the bank is giving an extra day off to “exhausted” staff.
  • Employees also get a free one-year subscription to the meditation app Headspace.
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s largest, has also offered its workers an additional day off.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Royal Bank of Canada is giving its employees an extra paid day off this year to avoid burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic – as well as a one-year subscription to the meditation and sleep app Headspace.

RBC’s CEO Dave McKay on Thursday said in a company memo that workers were the most exhausted they have been at any point in the pandemic. He said the bank needs to “eliminate the stigma associated with asking for time to focus, concentrate, and in some cases, log off and recharge.”

McKay told employees in the memo they should speak to their managers to book the extra day off and encouraged them to take the time to go on vacation. He said the few vacations he’d taken in the pandemic had allowed him to read, play his guitar, and spend more time outside.

Canada’s second-biggest bank also offered its global workforce of around 86,000 workers a free one-year subscription to Headspace, which usually costs $69.99.

“Beyond this extra day off, we recognize the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, especially for those in regions that have reverted back into lockdown,” McKay said. Canada is currently in a third wave of coronavirus infections which has mainly hit the province of Ontario, where RBC headquarters are. The province has introduced new restrictions to stop the spread.

“I encourage all of you to prioritize your personal time and continue to be mindful about work-life boundaries wherever possible,” McKay told staff in the memo.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s largest bank, has also told staff they would get an extra day off work. CEO Bharat Masrani said in a memo to staff, seen by Bloomberg, that they should take the day off when they need it the most.

“After a year of sacrifice and disruption, we must all endure these challenging circumstances for a bit longer,” Masrani said in the memo. “I know that this has not been easy, and everyone is tired.”

The bank’s decisions to give staff an additional day off come after Goldman Sachs was criticized for making junior bankers work 100-hour weeks in “inhumane” conditions, leading to poor mental health.

Citigroup also launched a “Citi Reset Day” on March 28 – a company-wide holiday to relieve stress on staff. CEO Jane Fraser also banned video calls on a Friday.

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