Chick-fil-A faces backlash for offering North Carolina ‘volunteer’ workers chicken sandwiches

Operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program in which they solicited ‘volunteers’ to work at the drive-thru in exchange for vouchers for a chicken sandwich

The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, North Carolina posted the offer last week in a now-deleted Facebook post.

“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” the read message. “Earn 5 free entries per shift (1 hour) worked. Send us a message for more details.

Despite the post being deleted, the restaurant’s social media pages continue to be flooded with critical comments from customers frustrated with the franchise.

“I don’t want anyone serving food untrained!” a woman wrote.

“Glad to see you removed the highly illegal volunteer position,” another wrote. “Pay the workers’ money, not the chicken. »

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 duties.

The North Carolina Chick-Fil-A was trying to do something “fun and creative” for their community, the store owner said in an Instagram post.
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North Carolina Department of Labor Communications Director Jennifer Haigwood confirmed to Fox News Digital that “any private sector employer covered by the FLSA is not authorized to allow employees to volunteer.”

Haigwood noted that the North Carolina Department of Labor has no jurisdiction over volunteers or in situations where there is no employer-employee relationship.

“Thank you for everyone’s concern about this,” Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. “After carefully reviewing the complaints and other details brought to our attention, we have decided to discontinue this program and not proceed in the future. We are always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our community. Unfortunately, we have instead brought unnecessary negativity and inappropriate regional/national attention to our city. I apologize for this and will continue to make every effort to treat our guests with honor, dignity and respect.

Chick-fil-A Hendersonville did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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