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

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

The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina ended a controversial program in which they solicited “volunteers” to work in 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 (1hr) worked. Message us for details.”

Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich is a popular menu item. (Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Despite the deletion of the message, the restaurant social media pages continues to be inundated with critical comments from guests 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,” 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 recruiting volunteers to perform regular tasks.

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 permitted to allow its employees to volunteer.”

Haigwood noted that the North Carolina The 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,” said 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 brought unnecessary negativity and 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.

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