NYC Mayor Calls For a Boycott Of This Popular Fast-Casual Chain
"We don't want your burritos. We don't want your rice and beans. We just want you to give dignity to working people and stop this madness." Those were the sentiments of New York City's mayor Bill de Blasio at a rally this Wednesday, which he attended to show support for Chipotle's workers. The chain has been embroiled in a bitter lawsuit in the East Coast metropolis over hundreds of thousands of violations of the city's Fair Workweek Law.
De Blasio called on his fellow New Yorkers to follow suit and boycott Chipotle, saying "If you break the law, we will get you. We will stop you. But otherwise, I'm not going near a Chipotle. I don't think anyone else should, too." The company has about 90 locations that employ about 6,500 workers in the city.
The chain is accused of violating workers' rights at several dozen restaurants across the city by changing work schedules at the last minute and requiring workers to cover back-to-back shifts, according to the lawsuit the city of New York filed in April. In these instances, workers were allegedly not offered additional compensation or adequate notice or time off. The chain also purportedly did not offer its existing workers more shifts before hiring new ones to fill them, a practice which left its employees "in an involuntary part-time limbo."
Furthermore, Chipotle allegedly failed to provide the mandated minimum of 40 hours of sick leave a year, allowing only 24 hours per year between April 2014 and January 2020.
According to Restaurant Business, punishment for the violations could total nearly $300 million in civil penalties as well as more than $150 million in back pay.
This isn't the first lawsuit the city has filed against the fast-casual megachain. A previous lawsuit addressed similar breaches which took place between 2017 and September 2019, according to The New York Times. The new complaint says Chipotle had made some attempts to comply with the Fair Workweek Law since, but that violations were continuing.