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Chipotle Makes a New Kind of Play for Labor

Chipotle, the nationwide Mexican food chain, plans to hire several thousand new employees in an effort to thwart a tightening labor market that has turned the tables on employers.

In just one single day, Chipotle aims to add as many as 4,000 people to its payroll – expanding its labor force by almost seven percent. The possibility of earning a six-figure salary and stock in the company if the recruit is a high performer is just part of what Chipotle hopes will allure new employees. Chipotle is not the only business in the industry seeking to stand out in the labor market; Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Cheesecake Factory have raised wages while Starbucks is providing tuition reimbursement and financial aid.

Not Just About the Labor Market

Chipotle has also expanded employee benefits to include tuition reimbursement for all hourly workers, paid sick days, and increased vacation time. Typically, the company pays its employees slightly over $10 per hour. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that all employers pay employees a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Local governments can set a higher minimum wage, however, as is the case in many cities, including Los Angeles.

The sudden interest in a surge of hiring, however, likely comes in reaction to the multiple lawsuits Chipotle is facing in state and federal court, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Workers are alleging the company failed to pay overtime, which Chipotle denies. The FLSA mandates that, unless exempt, employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek at time-and-a-half the employee’s regular pay. Generally, overtime worked must be paid on the regular payday for that workweek. California law regulating overtime pay is similar to the FLSA and employers are required to pay the time-and-a-half rate whether or not the overtime was authorized. Unfortunately, employers may conduct business in a manner that can get around federal or local minimum wage laws. This can include making employees work “off the clock” or tipping workers who did not make the minimum wage between tips and the hourly rate.

Labor Attorney LA

Contact an aggressive labor attorney LA residents can rely on if you or someone you know believes their employer is not paying a fair wage, is refusing to pay overtime to which you are entitled, or is faced with any other type of employment issue. The legal professionals at Levine & Blit, PLLC have years of advising clients on employment law issues. Call today to schedule your no-obligation fee case evaluation at our Los Angeles office at (212) 967-3000 today. We will advocate aggressively on your behalf to help you recover the compensation to which you are fairly entitled. A knowledgeable labor attorney LA residents can partner with is just a click away.

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