North Carolina Chick-fil-A faces backlash for offering to pay ‘volunteer’ workers in chicken sandwiches
The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program in which they solicited "volunteers" to work the drive-thru in exchange for chicken sandwich vouchers.
The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, N.C. issued the offer last week in a now-deleted post on Facebook.
"We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!" the post read. "Earn 5 free entrées per shift (1 hr) worked. Message us for details."
Despite deleting the post, the restaurant’s social media pages continues to be inundated with critical comments from guests frustrated with the franchise.
"I don't want anyone serving food to not have been trained!" one woman wrote.
"Glad to see you deleted the highly illegal volunteer post," wrote another. "Pay workers' money not chicken."
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Other comments criticized the franchise for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which prohibits private, for-profit companies from enlisting volunteers to perform regular job duties.
North Carolina Department of Labor communications director Jennifer Haigwood confirmed to Fox News Digital that "any private-sector employer who is covered by the FLSA is prohibited from allowing employees to volunteer services."
Haigwood noted that the North Carolina Department of Labor does not have any jurisdiction over volunteers or in situations where there isn’t an employer-employee relationship.
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"Thanks for everyone's concern on this matter," the Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. "After carefully reviewing claims and other details brought to our attention, we have decided to stop this program and not move forward in the future. We are always looking for a fun and creative ways to engage our community. Unfortunately, we brought unnecessary negativity and misplaced regional/national attention to our town instead. I apologize for this and will continue to make all efforts to treat our guests with honor, dignity, and respect."
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Chick-fil-A Hendersonville did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.