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Allegations of employment law violations spark Chipotle lawsuit

One of the biggest concerns for New York employers is navigating and adhering to labor laws. This can impact businesses small, medium and large. If there are alleged violations of employment law, lawsuits can be filed. Although employees often pursue these lawsuits in their individual capacity, sometimes the city or state can step in to take legal action against a business that they believe has violated labor laws.

New York City, for example, has filed a lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill asserting that it violated a number of city labor laws. According to the city's complaint, workers who are supposed to receive predictable schedules were not afforded that basic right. The company's alleged actions are a violation of the Fair Workweek Law, which was enacted nearly two years ago. Employees who work at some of the company's Brooklyn restaurants have filed a number of claims. According to them, the company did not provide them with an estimated work schedule in the timeframe mandated by law. In addition, those claims allege that Chipotle failed to get approval to make late changes or ask workers to close one day and open the next morning.

Another concern is the business's sick leave policy. Workers are supposed to have a certain amount of time off due to illness or to care for a family member who is ill. Workers said the policy that the restaurants used led to confusion and was inconsistently applied. If workers needed sick time, it was left to them to find someone to work in their place. The city wants a minimum of $1 million for workers whose rights were violated. Other restaurant locations throughout the city are being investigated to determine if there were other violations.

Running a business can be difficult in New York, and employers should do everything they can to protect themselves from lawsuits asserting that they have mistreated employees. Although the current landscape has made it seem as if workers are constantly facing workplace violations, there is frequently a misunderstanding and employers are not intentionally depriving workers of their rights. Therefore, employers should think about working with a legal firm that is experienced in employment law for employers when confronting these types of legal issues.

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