Court: Taco Bell can keep employees on-site during breaks if they want discounted food

Illustration for article titled Court: Taco Bell can keep employees on-site during breaks if they want discounted foodem/em
Photo: Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post (Getty Images)

Taco Bell employees can purchase food at a discount during their breaks. Makes sense. But employees in California recently filed a lawsuit against the chain over a particular detail of that discount: To get the reduced-price food, staff are required by the restaurant to stay at the restaurant and not leave the grounds. Taco Bell says this prevents workers from giving away that discounted food to friends and family; workers said it unfairly forced them to stay at work during breaks. Last week, a California court sided with Taco Bell.

Inc. breaks down the ruling, which affirmed the restaurant’s stay-on-the-grounds policy: “California law was not violated because Taco Bell relieved their employees of all duties during the meal break period and exercised no control over their activities, where employees were free to use the thirty minutes in any way they wished, subject only to the restriction that if they purchased a discounted meal, they had to eat in the restaurant.”

This made me curious about the meal discounts and policies at other fast-food chains. According to former and current Wendy’s employees posting on career website Glassdoor, Wendy’s offers managers completely free meals on days they work, while other staff get half-off meals. (“You get really tired of the food very quickly,” one employee writes, with an almost audible sigh.) Burger King workers also report getting half-price discounts. No word on whether they’re required to stay on-site, though.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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Stuff N Fluff

I worked at a KFC and we had a policy where if your friend was working the register you could get all you want for the price of a biscuit.