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Chick-fil-A faces backlash for offering North Carolina ‘volunteer’ employees chicken sandwiches

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The operators of a Chick-fil-A in North Carolina have ended a controversial program by which they solicited “volunteers” to work the drive-thru in exchange for chicken sandwich vouchers

The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, N.C. issued the offer last week in a now-deleted post on Facebook.

“We’re in search of volunteers for our latest Drive Thru Express!” the post read. “Earn 5 free entrées per shift (1 hr) worked. Message us for details.”

Despite deleting the post, the restaurant’s social media pages continues to be inundated with critical comments from guests frustrated with the franchise. 

“I don’t want anyone serving food to not have been trained!” one woman wrote.

“Glad to see you deleted the highly illegal volunteer post,” wrote one other. “Pay employees’ money not chicken.”

Other comments criticized the franchise for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which prohibits private, for-profit corporations from enlisting volunteers to perform regular job duties. 

The North Carolina Chick-Fil-A was attempting to do something “Fun and inventive” for his or her community, the shop owner said in an Instagram post.Getty Images

North Carolina Department of Labor communications director Jennifer Haigwood confirmed to Fox News Digital that “any private-sector employer who is roofed by the FLSA is prohibited from allowing employees to volunteer services.”

Haigwood noted that the North Carolina Department of Labor doesn’t have any jurisdiction over volunteers or in situations where there isn’t an employer-employee relationship.

“Thanks for everybody’s concern on this matter,” the Hendersonville store owner Joel Benson wrote on Instagram. “After rigorously reviewing claims and other details delivered to our attention, we now have decided to stop this program and never move forward in the longer term. We’re all the time in search of a fun and inventive ways to interact our community. Unfortunately, we brought unnecessary negativity and misplaced regional/national attention to our town as a substitute. I apologize for this and can proceed to make all efforts to treat our guests with honor, dignity, and respect.”

Chick-fil-A Hendersonville didn’t immediately reply to Fox News’ request for comment.

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