Framed Chipotle employee awarded $8 million in carnitas-stuffed burrito of justice

Illustration for article titled Framed Chipotle employee awarded $8 million in carnitas-stuffed burrito of justice
Photo: Scott Olson / Staff (Getty Images)

I know we’re a food site and all, and there’s definitely food in this story, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t few things in the world as delicious as assholes getting their comeuppance. Grab your forks, because this justice is piping hot.


Jeanette Ortiz, once a manager at a California Chipotle, was fired in 2015. The purported reason: Her employers said she stole $626 from the safe. The actual reason: She filed for worker’s compensation after getting a carpal tunnel-related wrist injury. The jury: not amused. The ruling: eight million dollars in damages.

According to the New York Post, Ortiz’s employers “claimed the theft was caught on camera, but [Ortiz] was never shown the video because her bosses told her the evidence had been destroyed.” So Ortiz wisely filed a wrongful termination suit. Now, years later, a jury has finally made a decision on the matter. After a whopping four hours of deliberation, they returned to award Ortiz “$6 million for emotional distress and $1.97 million for loss of wages.”

According to Healthcare Bluebook, carpal tunnel surgery can cost more than $6,605. So hell, let’s just quadruple it, and assume it was an insanely complicated injury on both wrists. Now let’s to the math:

$7,970,000 - $26,420 = $7,943,580

I don’t know how many sour cream ladles you can buy with $7,943,850, but I bet it’s a lot. The moral is: don’t be a dick, just deal with employee injuries like a decent person, and maybe don’t frame someone for theft and say “oh wow, huh, all the footage got destroyed, isn’t that weird.”

Per the Post, “A Chipotle spokeswoman declined to comment on the panel’s decision.”

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!



Good! Fuck Chipolte. Backstory: Visit 1 - taking kids for lunch. Get to the order station after waiting 20+ in line minutes ONLY to be informed they were out of burritos that day. Seems like an important detail to mention perhaps at the front door! Had to drive 30 mins. to the next closest store, and again wait in line to order (Kids can be relentless when they want what they want).

Visit 2- picking up a takeout order. Wife had ordered a vegetable burrito, which includes guac. I asked the person for the guac on the side, and chips. In the end I was charged for the guac which should have been included, and for a side of chips. Neither were in the bag when we got home. Reported both problems to customer service and still waiting for a response. Neither time was I getting anything for myself, as their food is absolute garbage.