Workweek scheduling violations of New York City’s Fair Workweek Law and other city laws may cost Chipotle Mexican Grill more than $150 million in owed wages and penalties. According to a complaint filed by the city, the fast food giant failed to provide its employees at numerous locations with sufficient notice or extra pay when changing their schedules last minute or requiring them to work consecutive shifts. This lawsuit is the largest the city has brought under the Fair Workweek Law which aims to recover relief for the alleged violations as well as financial penalties. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings filed this complaint which covers claims from November 2017, when the law went into effect, to September 2019 for nearly 6,500 New York City Chipotle employees.
Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Chipotle violated the Fair Workweek Law and other local laws by:
- failing to provide workers with 14 day notice of their schedules – or failing to obtain written consent accepting a short notice schedule change paid at premium for the shift coverage
- failing to provide employees with at least 11 hours of rest between consecutive work days – or failing to obtain written consent for less rest time between shifts with $100 extra pay
- failing to offer existing workers additional shifts before hiring new employees to fill open shifts
- illegally denying requests for time off under paid sick leave laws, requiring workers to find their own replacements or not paying workers for time they took
According to the city’s findings, each of the 6,500 affected workers experienced at least 3 of these scheduling violations weekly.
Essential workers deserve to have reliable and predictable work schedules in order to sustain themselves and their families. Unfortunately, Chipotle is not the only fast food chain that may be skirting these laws enacted to support some of our city’s hardest workers. If you work or have worked in NYC’s restaurant industry and believe you may have experienced any of the scheduling violations mentioned above, you may benefit from discussing your rights with an employment lawyer. Call our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation at (212)300-0375 to see if you may have a claim or visit our website for additional information.