Massachusetts officials fined Chipotle Mexican Grill $1.37 million after investigators found more than 13,000 alleged child labor violations at its restaurants there.
The fine comes after the fast-casual burrito chain kept employees under the age of 18 working past midnight and gave them more than 48 hours to work in a week. Some employees told investigators that they had been working so much, it had prevented them from finishing their homework. The investigation began after the Attorney General's office received a complaint in 2016 from a minor employee's parent alleging that their child had worked well past midnight at a Chipotle location in Beverly, Mass.
A review of Chipotle's records indicated that hadn't been the first time and minors regularly worked in violation of child labor laws.
The company also regularly hired minors without the proper work permits.
Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement that the state also issued four citations against Chipotle for violating the child labor and earned sick time laws as well as for failing to pay wages on time and for failing to keep proper records.
“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,” Healey said. “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.”
It's the largest child labor penalty ever issued by the state.
Another 500,000 will be paid by the company to a state youth worker fund that is dedicated to education, enforcement and training.
Photo: Getty Images