After shorting employees on scheduling pay premiums and failing to give current workers access to open shifts prior to hiring new employees, Chipotle is facing a lawsuit by New York City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protections (DCWP) over unfair labor practices. In addition, the claim also suggests that the burrito chain kept workers from calling out sick for covered reasons and disciplined them when they did call out. It is estimated that each of the 6,500 workers at Chipotle stores experienced at least one violation.
According to Forbes, the chain faces nearly 600,000 violations under the law and the DCWP is seeking $150 million to distribute to an estimated 6,500 victims. But what all do these violations entail and how can other New York City workers know if they’ve been impacted by other companies?
What is New York’s “Fair Workweek Law”?
New York City’s Fair Workweek Law took effect in November 2017. The law works to protect employees from punishment, penalization, retaliation, or adverse employment action that might stop or deter them from exercising their rights under the law. The law covers workers regardless of immigration status.
Under the Fair Workweek Law, fast food employers in New York City must give workers “good faith estimates” of when and how often they will work, predictable work schedules, and the opportunity to work newly available shifts before hiring new workers.
In addition to violating the Fair Workweek Law, Chipotle is also accused of violating the New York City 2014 sick leave law by only allowing workers 24 hours of sick leave when the law requires 40 hours, as well as not allowing workers time off to care for sick family members as per the law’s requirements.
This is not the first time the restaurant chain has faced claims of violating worker’s rights. In September 2019, New York City had filed a suit against Chipotle for similar violations at five of the company’s Brooklyn restaurants. The city claimed that the restaurant did not adequately address the issues which now has become just “the top of the iceberg” according to DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas.
Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed satisfaction over Chipotle’s actions saying, “Chipotle’s flagrant disregard for our laws and for their employees is unacceptable. Workers deserve reliable schedules and we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable.”
Now, these impacted employees must wait to see if justice will be served against the chain and learn how they plan to remedy these violations against the Fair Workweek Law.
If you are a fast-food employee in New York City or the surrounding area and your employer has made missteps similar to those of Chipotle, call Brown Kwon & Lam.
Did Your Employer Violate Fair Workweek Law? Call the BKL Lawyers.
If your employer has violated the Fair Workweek Law or any other employment laws designed to protect your best interests, know that you are likely not alone. The New York employment law attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam are here to help you seek the justice you deserve against your employer’s misconduct. Contact us today to learn more.