Chipotle hourly workers in California have just settled claims for owed wages alleging that the fast food giant failed to provide required rest breaks to thousands of workers. A California state judge preliminarily approved the $1.75 million settlement that will benefit approximately 7,000 employees. The approval, that comes five years after the initial filing, has ensured that affected current and former employees are receiving the most out of the settlement.
The labor violations cited in the initial complaint included issues with meal and rest periods, wage statements, and timely payment of wages. The lawsuit had argued that Chipotle’s labor budgets, employee turnover, staffing and food handling policies caused significant understaffing. This in turn, led to a widespread failure of Chipotle being able to provide compliant meal and rest periods. Additionally, wage statements failed to accurately reflect the total hours worked in a pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate on a wage statement as required by law. The burrito chain also allegedly failed to pay its workers in a timely manner due to a policy in which final payment of wages for its hourly workers were issued via hard copy of checks prepared out of state.
The high number of class action unpaid wage lawsuits Chipotle is facing this year is another indicator of the labor violations that run rampant in the restaurant industry. Unfortunately, if you have experienced any similar issue as an hourly worker in this industry within the last three years, you may be owed wages. If you’d like to learn more about your rights as an hourly worker, do not hesitate to call our firm at (212) 300-0375 for a free phone consultation.