On Monday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's office announced that restaurant chain Chipotle will pay $1.37 million in penalties for more than 13,000 child labor violations and other wage and hour law violations at each of its 50 corporate-owned locations in the state.
Chipotle will also pay $500,000 into a fund run by the AG's office that will go towards education programs about child labor and enforcement laws, as well as training and workforce development for young workers.
“Chipotle is a major national restaurant chain that employs thousands of young people across the country and it has a duty to ensure minors are safe working in its restaurants,” said Healey. “We hope these citations send a message to other fast food chains and restaurants that they cannot violate our child labor laws and put young people at risk.”
The state issued four citations against Chipotle for violating the child labor and earned sick time laws, failing to make timely payment of wages, and records violations.
The investigation into Chipotle began in 2016 after the state received a complaint from a parent of an employee alleging that the minor worked past midnight at a Chipotle location in Beverly.
A review of Chipotle’s records revealed that minors routinely worked in violation of the child labor laws. Audits conducted by the AG’s Office and Chipotle of several Massachusetts Chipotle locations between 2015 and 2019 identified child labor violations such as minors working without valid work permits, too late into the evening, and too many hours per day and per week.
The investigation found the following:
In fiscal year 2019, the AG’s Office issued 41 citations for child labor law violations totaling more than $487,000 in penalties, including four Qdoba Mexican restaurant locations in Central Massachusetts in August.
Follow us on The016.com, the social network for Worcester and you!