Chipotle fined $1.3 million for thousands of child labor violations

Massachusetts officials fined Chipotle Mexican Grill $1.3 million for more than 13,000 alleged child labor violations at its restaurants there.

The fast-casual burrito chain kept dozens of teens on the clock later than the law allowed and let minors work more than the legal limit of 48 hours in a week, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office said.

Bay State officials also slapped Chipotle with citations for breaking earned sick time law, failing to pay wages on time and records violations, officials said. The case involved more than 50 corporate-owned Chipotle eateries, according to officials.

“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,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a Monday statement. “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.”

Healey’s office said it launched a probe of Chipotle in 2016 after a parent complained that their child had stayed on the job past midnight at a restaurant in the city of Beverly.

Massachusetts law bars 14- and 15-year-olds from working later than 7 p.m., while 16- and 17-year-olds can’t be on the clock past 10 p.m. before school days or midnight before non-school days, according to officials. Minors also can’t work more than nine hours a day or 48 hours in a week.

Chipotle also employed minors without valid work permits, which companies are required to have on file for any workers younger than 18, Healey’s office said.

Chipotle did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. But the company has agreed to put $500,000 toward a state-administered fund for training, workforce development and education for young people as part of a settlement, Healey’s office said.

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