Chipotle To Pay Workers $20 Million Over Sick Pay Violations

Fast food workers in New York City are to get a $20 million settlement after Chipotle Mexican Grill was found to have violated labor laws on sick pay.

Each worker at their branches in the Big Apple will get a $50 payment for every week they worked from November 2017 to April 2022.

It is estimated that 13,000 workers will qualify for the payment. In addition, Chipotle has agreed to pay $1 million in civil penalties.

The deal follows a year-long investigation sparked by complaints from 160 Chipotle workers and trade union leaders.

A Chipotle restaurant and signage is seen on February 09, 2022 in Miami, Florida. The restaurant will pay workers $20 million in a settlment for violating labor laws over sick pay. (Photo by /Getty Images) Getty Images/Joe Raedle

The Fair Workweek Law—brought into force by New York City in 2017—requires fast food bosses to give workers their shift schedules at least two weeks in advance or pay a bonus.

Bosses must also give workers at least 11 hours off between shifts on consecutive days or get written consent and pay them an extra $100.

The city accused Chipotle of violating all of these policies.

New York Mayor Eric Adams said: "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."

A Chipotle Mexican Grill sign is seen in the Park Slope neighborhood on April 29, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Over 150 qualifying workers will get $50 a week following the settlement. Getty Images/Michael M. Santiago

He went on: "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."

Chipolte's restaurant chief executive Scott Boatwright said: "We're pleased to be able to resolve these issues."

Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development, Maria Torres-Springer explained: "Our city's recovery depends on increasing access to economic opportunity, and the Fair Workweek Law helps turn unpredictable schedules into stable jobs.

Food is served at a Chipotle restaurant on October 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Fair Workweek Law, brought into force by New York City in 2017, requires fast-food bosses to give workers their shift schedules at least two weeks in advance or pay a bonus. Scott Olson/Getty Images

"This settlement agreement with Chipotle brings justice to workers whose hard work is key to our recovery."

City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said: "Fast food workers have the right to predictable schedules and paid safe and sick leave. Today, we are delivering up to $20 million to Chipotle workers to compensate them for violations of these rights. To any fast food worker experiencing scheduling instability, we are here to support you."

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.