Chipotle will shell out $20 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated thousands of New York City workers’ rights to receive advanced schedules and use paid sick leave, among other protections, officials said Tuesday.
An investigation launched by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in 2018 found “major violations” of the Fair Workweek Law and the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law by the fast food chain, Mayor Eric Adams said in a press release.
Approximately 13,000 current and former Chipotle workers will receive payouts from the company as part of the settlement, the release said.
What You Need To Know
- Chipotle will pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated thousands of New York City workers' rights, officials said Tuesday
- The suit claimed the fast food chain violated workers' rights to receive advanced schedules and use paid sick leave, among other protections
- The rights the chain is accused of violating were covered by the Fair Workweek Law and the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, officials said
- Approximately 13,000 current and former Chipotle workers will receive payouts from the company as part of the settlement
“Today, I am happy to announce we have reached a settlement that will put money back in the pockets of these workers,” DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said at a news conference she and Adams held Tuesday afternoon. “A settlement that is the largest Fair Workweek settlement in the country.”
The city’s initial probe focused on complaints it received from Chipotle workers at eateries in Brooklyn, according to the release. In 2021, it expanded its case to include Chipotle outposts across the city.
Investigators found Chipotle did not give its employees work schedules two weeks in advance and would not pay them extra for schedule changes, the release said.
The chain also failed to offer additional shifts to current employees before it hired new ones and would not let employees use the sick leave they had accrued, on top of other violations, it added.
“These rights are important,” Vera Mayuga said Tuesday. “They are important because working people need scheduling stability, and the chance to pick up more hours to pay rent and put food on the table.”
In a statement, 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg, whose union filed complaints on behalf of a number of workers, said the settlement would “send a powerful reminder to Chipotle and companies like it that workers’ rights matter in New York City.”
“At its core, our fight focused on forcing Chipotle to respect the workers it relies on for its record profits,” Bragg said. “As the company brazenly violated more of our hard-won labor rights, even while their workers served on the front lines of a pandemic, the outcome of the city’s suit against Chipotle took on even greater importance.”
In a statement provided to NY1, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, Scott Boatwright, said the chain was “pleased to be able to resolve these issues,” adding that the settlement “demonstrates Chipotle’s commitment to providing opportunities for all of our team members while also complying with the Fair Workweek law.”
“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,” Boatwright said. “We hope this settlement will pave the way for greater cooperation between the restaurant industry and the city.”