The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program in which they asked “volunteers” to work at the drive-thru in exchange for chicken sandwich coupons.
The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, NC, issued the offer last week in a now-deleted post on Facebook.
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” read the post. “Earn 5 free entries per shift (1 hr) worked. Send us a message for more information.”
Despite the post’s deletion, the restaurant’s social media pages continue to be inundated with critical comments from guests frustrated with the franchise.
“I wouldn’t want anyone who serves food to be untrained!” wrote a woman.
“Glad to see you deleted the highly illegal volunteer post,” wrote another. “Pay worker’s wages, 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 hiring volunteers to perform regular work duties.
North Carolina Department of Labor communications director Jennifer Haigwood confirmed to Fox News Digital that “any private sector employer covered by the FLSA is prohibited from allowing 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.
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“Thank you for everyone’s concern on this matter,” Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. “After carefully reviewing the claims and other details that have been brought to our attention, we have decided to discontinue this program and not to continue in the future. We’re always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our community. Unfortunately, we’ve brought unnecessary negativity and instead brought misplaced 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.”
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Chick-fil-A Hendersonville did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.