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US food chain hired fake priest to get employees to 'confess'

by Sophie Drew

A taco chain in the United States has come under fire after hiring a fake Catholic priest to encourage employees to “confess” their sins.

In a litigation bought by the US Department of Labour, workers testified against the Taqueria Garibaldi company, based in Sacremento, California.

They told lawyers that the brand had encouraged them to “confess” their sins to the priest. Especially, they claim, when it came to work-related “sins”.

One worker described being asked if they had ever stolen from the company.

The litigation also found that employees were threatened with deportation if they testified against the company.

The Catholic Diocese has clarified that the man was not connected to them, despite claiming to be a catholic minister in the area.

"While we don´t know who the person in question was, we are completely confident he was not a priest of the Diocese of Sacramento," a spokesperson told the Catholic News Agency.

The operator of the restaurants was ordered to pay 35 staff $140,000 in back wages and damages, the department said in a press release this month.

“This employer’s despicable attempts to retaliate against employees were intended to silence workers, obstruct an investigation and prevent the recovery of unpaid wages,” said the regional solicitor of labour, Mr Marc Pilotin, in San Francisco.

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