Just when Chipotle seemed to be leaving scandal behind, the burrito giant is making headlines today for an “estimated 13,253 child labor violations” in Massachusetts, the state’s attorney general, Maura Healey, announced this week.
A four-year investigation into Chipotle’s practices in the state, launched after a parent complained that their child had worked “well past midnight,” found the burrito chain had run afoul of child labor laws by “regularly” employing minors without school-issued work permits and by putting minors to work later, and for longer hours, than Massachusetts law allows.
A press release from the AG’s office also says Chipotle “did not properly notify employees of their rights under the earned sick time law, failed to provide the AG’s Office with complete timekeeping records upon request, and in some locations, failed to pay workers within six days of the end of a pay period.” The violations were called a “pattern” and “not an occasional slip through the cracks” by Patricia Smith, the former top legal officer of the U.S. Department of Labor, in a statement to the New York Times.
The projected violations will end up costing the fast-casual giant nearly $2 million. To resolve the matter, Chipotle will pay a $1.37 million penalty. It will also “voluntarily” fork over half a million for a fund “to benefit young people through education programs about child labor and enforcement of the laws, as well as training and workforce development for young workers.”