The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program in which they encouraged “volunteers” to work through the drive-thru in exchange for chicken sandwich coupons.
The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, NC made the offer last week in a now-deleted Facebook post.
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” post read. “Earn 5 free entries per shift (1 hour) worked. Message us for details.”
Despite the post being deleted, the restaurant’s social media pages continue to be flooded with critical comments from diners frustrated with the franchise.
“I don’t want anyone serving food to be untrained!” wrote a woman.
“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.
Communications Director Jennifer Haigwood of the North Carolina Department of Labor confirmed to Fox News Digital that “any private 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 not an employer-employee relationship.
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“Thank you for everyone’s concern in this matter,” Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. “After carefully reviewing allegations and other details we received, we have decided to stop this program and not move forward in the future. We are always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our community. Unfortunately, we unnecessarily brought negativity and misplaced regional/national attention to our city instead. I apologize for this and will continue to do everything possible 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.