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Chipotle Is Involved in New Legal Drama in New York

The chain is being sued for hundreds of thousands of alleged violations of this labor law.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese
chipotle

Chipotle is being sued by the city of New York for hundreds of thousands of alleged violations of its Fair Workweek Law, which aims to protect workers from unreliable work scheduling practices. According to the lawsuit, workers are owed more than $150 million in compensation from the fast-casual Mexican chain.

Chipotle allegedly violated 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 complaint. 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."

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Furthermore, the chain allegedly violated the Paid Safe and Sick Leave law, which mandates that employees receive a minimum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Between April 2014 and January 2020, the chain only allowed for 24 hours of paid sick time, the lawsuit claims.

"Chipotle's flagrant disregard for our laws and for their employees is unacceptable," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement to The New York Times. "Workers deserve reliable schedules, and we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable."

Chipotle was previously sued by the city of New York for similar violations of the same law that allegedly took place between 2017 and September 2019, according to the outlet. In total, the company has about 90 locations that employ about 6,500 workers in the city.

Chipotle said it does not comment on pending litigation in a brief statement provided to Eat This, Not That!.

"The proceeding filed today by DCWP is a dramatic overreach, and Chipotle will vigorously defend itself," Laurie Schalow, chief corporate affairs officer, said in the statement. "Chipotle remains committed to its employees and their right to a fair, just, and humane work environment that provides opportunities to all."

For more, check out America's Largest Fast-Food Chain Is on a Downward Spiral, Reports Say. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all of the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more