Accused labour law violator changing ways, plans to improve benefits for workers

Chipotle announced it will enhance paid parental leave and is testing unlimited PTO

Accused labour law violator changing ways, plans to improve benefits for workers

Following negative press for its child labour law conviction in Massachusetts in January and after being sued for firing an employee who used paid sick leave, Chipotle Mexican Grill is making efforts to improve its employee benefits policy.

On March 5, the company announced that it has enhanced its Paid Parental Leave (PPL) for Restaurant Support Center and eligible field employees up to 12 weeks for birth mothers and four weeks for new fathers and individuals adopting children.

"Over the past year, we've positioned ourselves as a leader in curating an environment that maximizes the potential of our outstanding workforce," said Marissa Andrada, Chief People Officer. "We want to ensure our employees are able to share important moments with their family and have the necessary time away from work to recharge after a monumental life event."

Chipotle will also cover costs for breastmilk shipping services for nursing mothers during work travel. Through its employee resource group Humans Uniting to Support the Ladies' Experience (HUSTLE), the company will offer special 'returnity' guides for corporate employees to help ease their transition back to work.

The guides highlight how to connect with the company’s People Experience and Benefits teams, how to voice 'returnity' needs, the suggestions to discuss employees' transition plans and internal and external resources that working parents can utilize and much more.

Unlimited PTO

Chipotle is also testing unlimited paid time off (PTO) for Restaurant Support Center Directors and above as well as Executive Team Directors and Team Directors in this year. This will reward leaders who are “ultimately accountable for innovating and supporting the brand's mission to Cultivate a Better World”, says the company. It will also give them increased flexibility to attend to their many priorities at work as well and at home.

“The organization will use its stage-gate process to make an informed decision on whether to roll this out to additional restaurant support levels once feedback has been assessed,” said the company.

Chipotle has also implemented programs like its bonus program which allows restaurant employees the opportunity to earn an extra month's worth of pay each year; Cultivate Education tuition reimbursement and debt-free degree options program in partnership with Guild Education, which allows all eligible employees, including crew members, to pursue a free college degree and the Health Advocate health and financial wellness initiative, which includes access to personalized assistance from healthcare experts before during and following medical needs through a partnership.

In February, Chipotle agreed to pay $1.37 million to settle claims by Massachusetts' Office of the Attorney General that the company violated Massachusetts child labour laws, according to an HR Dive article. It is also facing a lawsuit in New York City over accusations that it violated the city’s Fair Workweek Law.

According to a Boston25 News report, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office found that Chipotle had violated child labour laws in Massachusetts over 13,000 times.