NYC claims Chipotle continues to violate employee rights

Popular fast food chain Chipotle is facing a lawsuit in New York City.

New York City has sued popular grocery chain Chipotle, demanding $ 150 million for employees, and accusing the company of “total disregard” of mandates related to the fair work week law. Chipotle allegedly changed employee schedules without adequate notice or pay and caused “hundreds of thousands of fair planning law violations” in many locations. This law first came into force in 2017 through lobbying by Service Employees International Union Local, 32BJ.

The Fair Work Week Act requires employers to provide workers with good faith schedules and estimates of expected weekly working hours. Specifically, violations include changing employees’ work schedules without notice or additional pay, requiring employees to work consecutive shifts with no time off or additional pay, and failing to offer employees additional shifts before new employees are hired.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Unsplash

Additionally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Paid Sick Leave Act in 2020, which allows New Yorkers to take paid vacation. This requires employers with five or more employees or net income greater than $ 1 million for paid sick leave and employers with fewer than five employees and net income of $ 1 million or less for unpaid sick leave. The city claims that Chipotle also disregarded this law.

According to the complaint, all of the estimated 6,500 Chipotle employees in New York City were affected by improper planning and sick leave practices from November 2017 to September 2019. “On average, there were more than three scheduling violations per week … Employees owed over $ 150 million in relief for the violations. “The city claims,” ​​Chipotle illegally denied requests for leave, required workers to find their own replacements, or failed to pay workers for the time they took. “

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Chipotle’s apparent disregard for our laws and those of our employees is unacceptable. Workers deserve reliable schedules and we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable. “

The Bureau of Administrative Procedures and Hearings’ Consumer and Labor Protection Division, which filed the lawsuit, said Chipotle had made some attempts to meet the requirements since 2019, but there were still issues that were not addressed.

The department’s commissioner, Lorelei Salas, said: “Unfortunately, since we filed our lawsuit against Chipotle, we have learned that these initial charges were only the tip of the iceberg.” Failure to provide planning information requested by the department, in part because it destroyed paper schedule records. However, the evidence presented by Chipotle, as well as the evidence presented by its employees, shows that Chipotle did not begin to implement key elements of the Fair Work Week Act at one of its New York City locations until around September 2019. “

Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, described the move as a “dramatic overrun” and said the company would “vigorously defend itself … Chipotle remains committed to its employees and their right to a fair, equitable and humane work environment, the opportunity offers all. “

Swell:

New York City is suing Chipotle for planning practices

New York paid sick leave

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