Chipotle to pay NYC workers $20m for violating city labour laws

The California-based fast-food chain repeatedly violated labour laws governing sick leave and scheduling, New York City investigators claim.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will pay $20m to current and former workers at its New York City restaurants for violating city labour laws, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday.

According to investigators, Chipotle’s violations of the city’s Fair Workweek law included failing to post work schedules 14 days in advance, pay a premium for schedule changes and offer available shifts to current employees before hiring new employees.

The settlement between the city and the California-based fast-food chain covers about 13,000 employees who worked at the chain’s New York City outlets between 2017 and this year. It is the result of an investigation by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection into complaints filed by 160 Chipotle workers and Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, city officials said.

“Today’s settlement with Chipotle is not only a victory for workers by securing up to $20m in relief for approximately 13,000 workers, but also sends a strong message, as the largest worker protection settlement in New York City history, that we won’t stand by when workers’ rights are violated,” Adams, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Under the agreement, any hourly New York City Chipotle worker is eligible to receive $50 for each week worked between November 26, 2017, and April 30, 2022. Chipotle will also pay $1m in civil penalties to the city.

“We’re pleased to be able to resolve these issues and believe this settlement demonstrates Chipotle’s commitment to providing opportunities for all of our team members while also complying with the Fair Workweek law”, Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, said in a statement.

Boatwright said the company has taken steps to improve compliance through measures such as improved time-keeping technology and looks forward to “continuing to promote the goals of predictable scheduling and access to work hours for those who want them”.

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