Chipotle agrees to a $300,000 settlement over D.C. child labor allegations


Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to a six-figure settlement after an investigation in the nation’s capital identified “more than 800 potential violations of child labor laws in Washington, D.C. over the past three years,” announced D.C. Attorney General Brian L. Schwalbe on Monday.

Schwalbe’s office alleges that since April 2020, the popular restaurant chain has violated numerous child labor laws, with employees under the age of 18 working more than eight hours a day, more than 48 hours a week, and more than six consecutive days on the job. week.

The settlement also accuses Chipotle of violating city ordinances by allowing children to work after 10 p.m. local time.

Chipotle operates 20 stores in the area. The investigation by Schwalbe’s office began in May 2022.

Chipotle will pay DC $322,400 and has approved a new plan for workplace training and compliance, according to prosecutors.

However, according to the settlement, the company “denies the district’s allegations regarding the violation of any child labor laws. Nothing contained in this settlement agreement shall or may be construed as an acknowledgment by the company of any violation of law, regulation, or any other violation.” fait accompli or law, or any liability or violation.”

Photo: D.C. Attorney General Brian L.  Schwalbe.

D.C. Attorney General Brian L. Schwalbe.

Office of the District Attorney for the District of Columbia

Company spokespeople did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Chipotle has previously been charged with similar offenses. In 2020, the company paid the state of Massachusetts $1.4 million for 13,253 alleged violations of child labor laws.

In September, the company also settled with the state of New Jersey for $7.75 million for what New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin described at the time as “alleged widespread and ongoing violations of the state’s child labor laws.”

PHOTO: A man walks past a Chipotle restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on February 8, 2016.

A man walks past a Chipotle restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on February 8, 2016.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Platkin said in a statement last year that the allegations in New Jersey included Chipotle’s “failure to adhere to limits on the number of hours minors are allowed to work and its failure to provide adequate meal breaks in a timely manner.”

Chipotle did not admit any wrongdoing in the Massachusetts settlement, and a Chipotle official said in a statement to reporters at the time of the New Jersey settlement:

“We have reached a settlement with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office over events dating back to 2017, and have implemented an enhanced program of work at our restaurants, creating a more efficient, consistent, and compliant environment.”

ABC News has reached out to Chipotle for comment on DC’s case.

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