Chipotle to pay $7.7 million to settle child-labor abuse case

Chipotle has agreed to pay a $7.7 million settlement after the New Jersey Department of Labor found that the chain has repeatedly violated state child labor laws.

A 2020 audit by the department found over 30,000 violations of youth labor laws including scheduling underage workers for longer hours than is allowed by law, and not allowing them enough break time.

On top of paying the hefty price tag, the Mexican-food chain will conduct in New Jersey regular self-audits of its treatment of underage employees, hiring a designated child labor compliance official, and training all staff on state child labor laws.

“New Jersey is committed to protecting all workers — especially young workers and others who are vulnerable and may not know their rights in the workplace,” Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin said in a statement.

The audit, which collected data from 2017 to 2020, comes after another high-profile settlement in Massachusetts where officials found child labor law violations in at least 50 locations.

The funds gathered from the settlement will go towards funding programs run by the New Jersey Department of Labor to help educate employers and employees about child labor laws and workers’ rights.

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