Chipotle is being sued by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for violating the city’s Fair Workweek Law.
The law, which went into effect in 2017, requires predictable schedules and a pathway to stable, full-time employment for fast-food workers. Under the law, employees cannot change an employee’s schedule less than 14 days before the work day. Employers are also expected to pay a $100 premium to any employee who works a clopening shift, if they do not have written consent from the employee.
In the lawsuit, the city alleged Chipotle failed to comply with almost every aspect of the law. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection also found Chipotle’s current sick leave policy illegal.
“In New York City, predictable schedules for fast food and retail workers are a right, not a privilege,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Chipotle must immediately stop their unfair labor practices and put their employees above profit.”
According to the city, more than 30 employees from five different Brooklyn locations of Chipotle filed complaints with the DCWP.
“It is disappointing that numerous Chipotle locations are ignoring the City’s Fair Workweek Law and continuing to take advantage of their workers,” DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said in a statement. “This case exemplifies the abusive practices that this law is intended to end, and Chipotle must come into compliance. I encourage all fast food workers to come forward if their right to a predictable schedule or new shift is being violated.”
The city is seeking $1 million in restitution for the workers. In addition to the lawsuit, DCWP launched another investigation into similar violations under the Fair Workweek Law at 11 Chipotle locations in Manhattan.
Chipotle’s chief reputation officer, Laurie Schalow, told CNBC the brand has been working cooperatively with the city to ensure its processes comply with the law.
“We believe the filing of charges was unnecessary,” Schalow told CNBC. “Regardless, we will continue to cooperate with the city and we are addressing any prior noncompliance concerns.”
Chipotle’s stock, which was at an all-time high on September 9, took a tumble after news of the lawsuit hit. By late afternoon September 10, it dropped 7 percent, or $57.04, to $782.61, according to the New York Business Journal.