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Chipotle Fined for Committing Over 13,000 Child Labor Violations

Plus, Trump’s impeachment committee is dining on Chick-fil-A, and more news to start your day

Spread of Chipotle food offerings on a table Chipotle/Facebook
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

It’s the largest child labor penalty ever issued by a single state

Chipotle may be pulling ahead in the Bowl Bowl, but good food can’t make up for bad labor practices. Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts has fined Chipotle $1.37 million for committing approximately 13,253 child labor violations, along with other wage and hour law violations. The investigation against corporate-owned Chipotle locations began when the parent of a 16-year-old employee complained that they had worked past midnight, and a review of the company’s records showed many instances of minors working too late, too many hours, and without work permits. The investigation also showed Chipotle did not regularly inform workers of their rights.

“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,” AG Healey said in a statement on her website. “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.”

Chipotle has been scrutinized recently for its labor practices, as workers attempt to organize against the chain’s working conditions. After interviewing Chipotle employees for the New Republic, reporter Kim Kelly uncovered “a workplace long on manic stress and short on basic dignity and respect for workers.” In Massachusetts, Chipotle has agreed to pay $500k of its fine to a fund to educate young people about child labor laws and workforce development, presumably so they can know when companies like Chipotle are trying to pull one over on them.

And in other news...

  • At a Trump rally in Wildwood, NJ, everyone is drinking “subpoena-coladas.” [NY Times]
  • Leaked memos show that Instacart managers have been distributing anti-union pamphlets to workers attempting in Illinois. [Vice]
  • The Supreme Court ruled that DHS can deny green cards to immigrants if they are at risk of becoming a “public charge.” One of the criteria is use of SNAP benefits. [New Food Economy]
  • A man was sentenced to probation after stealing more than $1 million from Dr. Pepper by pocketing instant rebates. [Vice]
  • Ben & Jerry’s is launching ice cream made with sunflower butter. [PRN]
  • Restaurant chain Bar Louie is filing for bankruptcy. [Pittsburgh Business Times]
  • Pete Wells be damned, most people do not like loud music playing in restaurants. However, those who want a completely silent restaurant are still creeps. [Fast Company]
  • The chicken sandwich craze at Popeyes and Chick-fil-A has created a shortage of “little chickens,” which supposedly taste better than the big ones. [Bloomberg]
  • A robotics company is making a burger-flipping robot cheap enough to work in fast food. [NRN]
  • Nothing like a wagon of Chick-fil-A to get you through an Impeachment.