BOSTON – Chipotle Mexican Grill received a $1.37 million fine as punishment for more than 13,000 child labor violations at restaurant locations in Massachusetts, according to the Attorney General Maura Healey.
This is the largest child labor penalty ever laid out by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, according to the Attorney General’s office.
“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,” Healey said. “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 citation states that 50 Chipotle locations in Massachusetts had employees under 18 working past midnight for more than 48 hours a week. According to Massachusetts law, children under 18 may not work more than nine hours in a day or more than 48 hours in a week. Fourteen- and 15-year-old children may not work later than 7 p.m. and 16- and 17-year-old children may not work later than 10 p.m. on a night preceding a school day, or later than midnight preceding a non-school day.
Other violations include managers not notifying employees of paid time off for illnesses. The AG’s office also cited the company for record violations and failure to make timely payments.
Healy said that Chipotle voluntarily agreed to pay an additional $500,000 toward education and oversight programs regarding child labor and workforce development of young employees.
“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,” said Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate reputation officer, in a statement to the Associated Press.