Late Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and city officials announced that Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay $20 million to 13,000 workers for violating their right to predictable schedules and paid sick leave.
“Today's settlement with Chipotle is not only a victory for workers by securing up to $20 million 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,” said Adams.
The mayor’s office also said Chipotle will pay $1 million in civil penalties.
The settlement is the result of a city investigation that was initiated after 160 Chipotle employees and the 32BJ Service Employees International Union filed complaints against the company.
NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, which went into effect in 2014, and the Fair Workweek Law, which went into effect in Nov. 2017, were both effectively violated with the company’s actions.
Under the Fair Workweek Law, fast-food employers must provide workers with their schedules at least two weeks in advance or pay a bonus for the shifts.
Employers must also give workers at least 11 hours off between shifts on consecutive days or get written consent and pay them an extra $100. And employers must offer workers more shifts before hiring additional employees, to make it easier for workers to earn a sustainable income.
Under the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, Chipotle must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year.
The city accused Chipotle of violating both policies.
The settlement stipulates that anyone who worked in an hourly position for Chipotle in New York City will receive $50 for each week worked between Nov. 26, 2017, and April 30, 2022. Former Chipotle employees must file a claim to receive their payments, the mayor’s office said.
Chipotle is ensuring this will never happen again, according to corporate management.
“We have implemented a number of compliance initiatives, including additional management resources and adding new and improved time-keeping technology, to help our restaurants and we look forward to continuing to promote the goals of predictable scheduling and access to work hours for those who want them,” said Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, in a statement.
Chipotle recently came under fire for closing the first store to attempt unionization in Augusta, Maine.