Chipotle has been fined $1.3 million after the discovery of over 13,000 child labor violations. The charges are being issued by the state of Massachusetts.
According to the Associated Press, an estimated 13,253 child labor violations were found in over 50 Chipotle locations across the state. Violations included employees under the age of 18 working hours past midnight as well as clocking in over 48 hours per week. Apparently, Chipotle also hired minors without the proper working permits necessary to do so.
Attorney General Maura Healey ordered this fine and is hoping this will make a serious statement to other fast food restaurants about the important of following child labor regulations.
"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,” she said in a statement: “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 settlement itself totals around $2 million because along with the child labor violations, Chipotle is being penalized for sick time violations and failure to pay wages on time and keep records. The AP also reported that Chipotle was given the option of a voluntary $500,000 payout to a state youth worker fund that is committed to the education, enforcement, and training.
A spokesperson for Chipotle told Delish the following in response to the fines:
We are committed to ensuring that our restaurants are in full compliance with all laws and regulations and we believe that in hiring workers beginning at age 16, we can provide younger employees with valuable experiences and provide a compelling work environment. As part of our settlement with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General from violations dating back to 2015, we have agreed to donate $500,000 for the education and enforcement oversight related to child labor laws, for training and skills development of young workers, and to assist Massachusetts youth.
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