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Chipotle reaches $20M settlement over sick leave, scheduling complaints

This Jan. 12, 2017, file photo shows the sign on a Chipotle restaurant in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

The restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., has reached a $20 million settlement with thousands of its New York City employees over allegations of labor law violations, New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced Tuesday.

The settlement ends a years-long investigation by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) into claims that Chipotle had shirked paid sick leave and fair scheduling laws.

“Our investigation found that Chipotle did not give employees advance notice of their work schedules, required employees to work extra time without their advanced consent, did not properly compensate workers for schedule changes, did not offer available shifts to current employees before hiring new employees, and did not allow employees to use accrued safe and sick leave,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga in a press conference with Adams announcing the settlement.

Adams noted that businesses like Chipotle are vital to the city’s economy, but chided the company over the investigation’s findings. 

“Workers must be able to plan in their lives. The days of fast food workers as being merely college students, that is just not a reality. Many are parents. Many are sole providers for their families,” Adams said. 

The settlement may impact as many as 13,000 Chipotle employees, who will receive $50 for each week or partial week worked between November 2017 and April 2022, according to the DCWP commissioner. Former employees who worked during that period can also file for compensation.

Mayuga said the agreement is “the largest Fair Workweek settlement in the country.”  

The company will also pay up a $1 million fine to the city, Chipotle confirmed.

“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,” said Chipotle’s Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright in a statement Tuesday.

Boatwright added that the restaurant chain has implemented more compliance measures “to promote the goals of predictable scheduling and access to work hours for those who want them.”

Tags Chipotle employment Eric Adams fair workweek investigation labor law New York City NYC Settlement Union
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