Judge finds Chipotle Mexican Grill guilty of sexual, gender discrimination

CINCINNATI — A judge awarded three women more than $300,000 after they accused popular Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill of firing them because of their gender.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2013 in U.S. District Court and initially named seven plaintiffs making discrimination allegations. Four of the plaintiffs’ complaints were dismissed.

The trial for the remaining three — Stephanie L. Ochoa, Tina M. Reynolds, and Elizabeth A. Rogers — began Jan. 25.

Monday, a federal judge awarded the three women a total sum of $351,000, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Randolph Freking.

A jury will decide the amount of any additional punitive damages Chipotle might owe the women.

The discrimination allegations surfaced when the women claimed they were terminated from their positions at various Tri-State area Chipotle stores with what they claimed was no due cause. The lawsuit also made a general claim that male employees were treated better and retained their jobs more often than their female counterparts, regardless of performance evaluations.

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