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Chipotle agrees to nearly $3M settlement over alleged paid leave and scheduling violations in Seattle

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Dive Brief:

  • Chipotle agreed to pay nearly $3 million to 1,853 employees and $7,300 to the City of Seattle over allegations the company violated the city’s Secure Scheduling and Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinances at its eight Seattle locations, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards said. Chipotle also will develop a written Secure Scheduling Ordinance policy as part of the settlement. 
  • OLS alleged Chipotle retaliated against employees for declining to work a shift change without enough notice, for requesting their schedule accommodate their second job’s schedule and for calling out sick, among other paid time and scheduling violations. The settlement is the largest since the Secure Scheduling Ordinance went into effect in July 2017, OLS said. 
  • “We have implemented a number of compliance initiatives, including adding new and improved time keeping technology, to help our restaurants and we look forward to continuing to promote the goals of predictable scheduling and access to work hours for those who want them,” Laurie Schalow, chief corporate affairs officer for Chipotle, said in an emailed statement.

Dive Insight:

Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance covers hourly workers at retail and food services sites with 500 or more employees worldwide, including full-service restaurants with at least 40 locations globally.

The law requires employers to post schedules 14 days in advance and give employees the right to decline any hours not on the original schedule; pay time-and-a-half for hours worked between closing and opening shifts that are less than 10 hours apart; and engage in an interactive process when employees make schedule requests, among other requirements.

The Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which went into effect in September 2012, requires employers provide employees who work in Seattle with paid leave to care for their own or a family members’ physical or mental health; to take care of themselves or a family or household member who experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; to accommodate a family member’s school or care site closure; and to accommodate a company closure instigated by a public official for heath reasons.

“Ensuring workers’ rights, such as secure schedules and paid sick and safe time without the fear of retaliation, should be the norm, not the exception,” OLS Director Steven Marchese said in a statement. “In this investigation, there were widespread allegations by workers of Chipotle’s failure to comply with Seattle’s labor standards impacting eight locations and nearly two thousand workers.”

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