Chipotle Mexican Grill agreed to pay more than $300K to the District of Columbia following allegations that the popular chain violated D.C. child labor laws over 800 times over the last three years, D.C. Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb said Monday. Schwalb's office alleged Chipotle allowed employees under the age of 18 to work more than eight hours a day, more than 48 hours in a week and more than six consecutive days in a work week. Chipotle also allowed children to work after 10 p.m. A May 2022 investigation into the chain's 20 D.C.-based restaurants revealed that the violations have occurred since April 2020.
As part of the settlement, Chipotle will pay D.C. $322,400 and has agreed to a new training and workplace compliance plan, according to prosecutors. Chipotle, however, "denies the District's allegations regarding violations of any child labor laws. Nothing contained in this Settlement Agreement is or may be construed to be an admission by the Company of any violation of law or regulation, any other matter of fact or law, or any liability or wrongdoing."
This isn't the first time Chipotle has been accused of violating state child labor laws. In 2020, the chain paid Massachusetts $1.4 million for 13,253 alleged violations of child labor laws. And in September, Chipotle paid New Jersey $7.75 million for "alleged widespread and persistent violations of the state's child labor laws," New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin described at the time.