- Effective this year, Chipotle Mexican Grill will increase paid parental leave for “Restaurant Support Center and eligible field employees” to 12 weeks for birth mothers and four weeks for new fathers and adoptive parents, the company announced March 5. It will also cover the costs of breastmilk shipping services during work travel for nursing mothers.
- An internal employee resource group within Chipotle called HUSTLE (Humans Uniting to Support the Ladies’ Experience) will provide “Returnity Guides” for corporate employees to help ease their transition back to work. The guides will include advice on how new parents can make their needs known and connect with Chipotle’s HR and benefits teams along with a variety of “internal and external resources” for working parents.
- Chipotle is also testing an unlimited PTO policy for “Restaurant Support Center Directors and above as well as Executive Team Directors and Team Directors.”
Chipotle has been gradually improving benefits for both corporate and store employees. It recently implemented a new performance-based bonus program and expanded educational opportunities for workers through a partnership with Guild Education that allows them to earn a free college degree — though it has also been the target of recent investigations at the state and city level for workplace violations.
In January, the company settled claims by Massachusetts' Office of the Attorney General for $1.37 million regarding violations of the state's child labor laws. And in February, the company agreed to reinstate an employee who alleged she was fired for using paid sick leave offered under New York City law, as well as pay $2500 in restitution and remove disciplinary marks on her record. A larger investigation on Chipotle's practices is ongoing, the mayor's office said.
Regarding the more recent case, a Chipotle spokesperson said in an email to HR Dive: "Chipotle’s policy is to fully comply with the Sick and Safe Leave Act, and we communicate to all employees how they can properly request sick time. Chipotle’s engaged and hard-working employees are what makes us great, and we encourage our employees to contact us immediately, including through an anonymous 800 number, with any concerns so we can investigate and respond quickly to address any issues."
Employers with large hourly workforces have shown a consistent effort to improve their benefits offerings in order to survive in an increasingly competitive talent market. In October of last year, grocery chain Lidl began offering medical benefits to part-time employees and Starbucks added new family planning benefits, in addition to offerings around childcare and mental health.
Education benefits are on the rise thanks to the number of employers offering them, mainly with hopes of improving retention; usage is also up.
Paid parental leave is becoming increasingly popular as well. Last year, Lululemon began offering up to six months of gender-neutral paid leave to full-time workers while Sweetgreen introduced a five-month paid parental leave policy. VF Corporation — parent company of brands like The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler, Vans and Lee — and H&M have also started offering paid parental leave to hourly staff