A recently fired Chipotle Mexican Grill manager is suing his former employer for defamation, alleging that one of his superiors told others in the workplace that he was the subject of an unsubstantiated sexual harassment accusation.
Juan Poor’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, filed Friday, also alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress and names area manager Scotty Shadix as an additional defendant.
A Chipotle representative could not be immediately reached for comment on the complaint, which seeks unspecified damages.
Poor, who was the general manager of the Chipotle location in Malibu, says he was fired Oct. 3 during a meeting at the Simi Valley store with Shadix and the location’s general manager.
“Here’s your check, you’re not working for the company anymore,” Shadix told Poor, according to the complaint.
After Poor asked for the name of his accuser and for details about her complaint, Shadix replied, “We cannot give you any more details or information at this time,” the complaint alleges.
Shadix alleges the company unjustly fired him without conducting an investigation regarding the sexual harassment complaint. Despite the firing, Shadix and another Chipotle manager gave the plaintiff positive recommendation letters to show future prospective employers, his suit states.
Poor worked for the company for nearly 10 years as a general manager and assistant manager and had a “stellar work record,” the complaint says.
“He had an incredible work ethic and worked massive hours, was always available and was completely responsible,” according to the lawsuit.
Poor was behind the economic success of the Woodland Hills store, where he supervised about 24 employees, the suit states. He was named the Malibu store’s general manager in July.
The same day Poor lost his job, others at Chipotle were told of the sexual harassment allegations against him, which were false and defamatory on their face, according to the complaint. Two days after his firing, Poor asked Shadix for a recommendation letter that he could take to a job interview, and on Oct. 9, Shadix and his boss, Ben Castillo, both provided “glowing” and “fabulous” correspondences on the plaintiff’s behalf, the lawsuit states.
On Oct. 10, Shadix “kindly commented to plaintiff that he hoped his interview went well” and gave him advice on how to conduct himself during the interview, and a week later wished Poor good luck on a subsequent interview, according to the suit.
—City News Service
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