Chipotle Fined for More than 13,000 Alleged Labor Violations

by Evil HR Lady on January 28, 2020

Chipotle Restaurants in Massachusetts got struck by fines that after all the penalties are assessed are closer to $2 million than the official $1.3 million. Why? Child labor law violations.

These fines are from the state, not the federal government, because each has different rules regarding minor employment. What’s perfectly legal in one state may be illegal across state borders. 

Chipotle labor violations include, according to the state:

  • Having under 18s working past midnight (14 and 15-year-olds can’t work past 7:00 and 16 an 17-year-olds can’t work past 10:00 on school nights)
  • Under 18s working more than 48 hours a week
  • Hiring minors without work permits

Some of these things may or not be permissible in your state, but you must follow the law in every state in which you operate.

To keep reading, click here: Chipotle Fined for More than 13,000 Alleged Labor Violations

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tana January 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm

Is the headline correct? Can you please explain how a person or entity can be fined for alleged violations? I thought the issuance of a fine was prima facie evidence that the violation occurred. Doesn’t there have to be an investigation or a witness before a fine is issued?


MaggieA January 28, 2020 at 7:46 pm

In some cases, a company may agree to pay a fine without admitting fault, rather than going through an investigation which could end up costing the company more in legal costs.


GreenDoor January 28, 2020 at 8:20 pm

It coud have been discovered during an audit, where the auditor was required to report either evidence or the appearance of a violation to an oversight agency who then likely conducted the investigation.


BethRA January 28, 2020 at 10:56 pm

Not sure where the “alleged” bit is coming from, either – I’ve yet to see any coverage that suggests a lack of finding.

OT, but given their history of contributing to norovirus outbreaks in the Boston area, I found this particularly horrifying: “penalties for earned sick time violations in which managers granted paid time off only for certain illnesses, ” (


grannybunny January 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm

And there have been numerous outbreaks — all over the Country — of e coli infections that were, ultimately, traced to Chipotle. I don’t have any inside information about Chipotle. I’ve only eaten at one once (prior to all the e coli announcements). However, all these incidents suggest a serious breakdown in corporate managerial oversight.


BethRA January 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Just for kicks –

They wound up closing the location in question for a thorough cleaning and staff training. According to reports at the time, one of the key problems had been sick employees coming in to work for fear of losing their jobs. You would think managers in the same region would have learned a lesson from that.

I think there’s a good EHRL column here about “Chipotle’s fines are a cautionary tale about corporations being too stupid or venal to learn from their mistakes.”


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