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Employment Regulations for New York City Restaurant Owners

Learning from Chipotle’s EEOC Lawsuit

Employment regulations for restaurants have become more stringent in recent years. Alleged labor law violations led to a lawsuit for Chipotle Mexican Grill that resulted in a $20 million settlement with its employees.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported regarding the areas that were in violation. As a result of the lawsuit, Chipotle indicated it has added management resources, new and improved time-keeping technology to comply with predictable scheduling requirements and to provide access to work hours.

Details of the lawsuit

The areas addressed in the lawsuit included:

  • Schedule and overtime violations. Chipotle failed to give employees advance notice of their work schedules. It also required extra work time without advance consent. It failed to offer available shifts to current employees before hiring new workers.
  • Sick leave violations. Under NYC law, large employers must provide 56 hours of paid leave each year. However, Chipotle capped workers at 24 hours of paid sick time. They also did not allow workers to use their accrued sick leave.
  • On call employees. Companies must post employee’s work schedules 14 days in advance. They must provide predictability pay when employers make last-minute schedule changes. Chipotle failed to do this.

The settlement addressed scheduling and sick leave violations from November 2017 through late April 2022. The settlement provides hourly employees of NYC Chipotle $50 for each work during that time.

As a restaurant owner, do you need legal assistance to deal with employment regulations?

If you’re a restaurant owner and have questions or concerns about employment claims occurring in your restaurant, you should consult with an experienced employment law defense attorney. Whenever possible, it is wise to do so before legal issues arise. Call (718) 275-6500 to arrange an appointment with Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C.