Chipotle's Latest Labor Law Violation Settlement Will Cost It Over $7 Million

According to the company's website, Chipotle offers a variety of benefits to its employees. For example, every employee gets one free meal per day that they work. Some employees are eligible for paid time off, financial assistance towards a college degree, quarterly bonuses, and retirement plans. The company also offers a healthcare advocacy program, and employees are eligible for a free mental health care program.

In New Jersey, child labor laws vary based on the age of the minor and what time of year it is. Minors are restricted to working a certain number of hours per week, and they cannot work past certain times on school days. By age 14, minors are permitted to work in restaurants, per the New Jersey Department of Labor website. Now, Chipotle is in hot water for violating child labor laws in New Jersey, and they will be paying out a high amount in the settlement, as well as redoing some of its business practices.

The restaurants exploited minor employees

In a recent settlement, Chipotle will pay $7.75 million after violating New Jersey child labor laws at 85 restaurant locations, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The quick-service restaurant reportedly did not abide by limiting the hours that minors are allowed to work and did not provide minor employees with sufficient meal breaks, which are required when working for a certain number of hours. It was found that over 30,660 violations occurred between 2017 and 2020 following a 2020 audit.

Of the settlement money, $7.7 million will go towards the New Jersey Department of Labor's Child Labor Law Enforcement Trust Fund, which enforces laws regarding minors in the workplace and provides education to employers. The remainder will cover attorney fees. In addition to the payment, as part of the settlement, Chipotle agreed to develop a long-term strategy regarding minor employees, which will include better education, training, and compliance across its locations.

Earlier this year, Chipotle settled a New York City lawsuit after violating the city's Fair Workweek law.