The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program in which they have asked “volunteers” to work the drive-thru in exchange for chicken sandwich vouchers.
The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, NC made the offer last week in a now-deleted Facebook post.
“We’re looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” read the message. “Earn 5 free entrances per shift worked (1 hour). Message us for more information.”
Despite the post being deleted, the restaurant’s social media pages are still inundated with critical comments from diners frustrated with the franchise.
“I don’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 workers’ money, not a chicken.”
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Other comments criticized the franchise for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which prohibits for-profit private companies from hiring volunteers to perform regular duties.
North Carolina Department of Labor communications director Jennifer Haigwood confirmed to Fox News Digital that “any private sector employer covered by the FLSA should not 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.
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“Thank you for everyone’s concern about this matter,” Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. “After careful review of claims and other details brought to our attention, we have decided to discontinue this program and not continue in the future. We are always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our community. we have unnecessary negativity and instead misplaced regional/national focus on our city. I apologize for this and will continue to do everything I can 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.