New York City Mayor Eric Adams and city officials announced Tuesday (Aug. 9) that Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. agreed to pay $20 million to at least 13,000 employees for unfair work environments. The mayor’s office said this is the largest worker protection settlement in the city and the largest fair workweek settlement in the country. The fast food chain restaurant was also ordered to pay $1 million in civil penalties, per Adams’ office.
The settlement resulted from a multi-year city investigation that began after 160 Chipotle employees and the 32BJ Service Employees International Union filed complaints against the company. After reviewing the complaints, authorities found Chipotle failed to provide employees with their schedules at least 14 days in advance, required them to work extra time without written notice, and didn’t permit workers to use their sick days, among other violations that overworked the staff. These were violations of New York City’s 2014 Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law and the city’s 2017 Fair Workweek Law.
Mayor Adams made the following statement regarding the settlement: “Restaurants and fast food outlets are a critical part of our economy and our daily life here in New York City, but they cannot exist without the hard-working people who are cooking and serving and delivering our food. 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. I thank 32BJ SEIU for helping uncover these violations and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for getting justice for these workers.”
Hourly employees who worked between November 26, 2017 and April 30, 2022 will receive $50 for each week worked. Former Chipotle employees are eligible to receive settlement money but must file a claim first. Chipotle’s Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright said in a statement, “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.”