Chipotle Now Offering Sick Days

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Good news if you’re a Chipotle employee—or a person who eats at Chipotle. Starting July 1, the restaurant will be offering paid sick days to all of its employees, including entry-level team members.

The announcement, which was reported via Nation’s Restaurant News, did not specify how many sick days each Chipotle employee would receive. It did, however, clarify that this benefit was just one of many new benefits for Chipotle workers:

“We just made an announcement internally that we are now going to be offering sick pay and paid vacation time for all employees at all levels of the company, including all entry-level employees” [JD] Cummings said. “And we’re going to be offering the full-tuition reimbursement that we offer salaried employees to all hourly employees.”

JD Cummings is Chipotle’s recruitment strategy manager, and the fact that the announcement came from him has a special significance; Chipotle is offering these new benefits as a way to incentivize new hires to stay with the company.

“We have a lot of folks who, if they realize they could make a career with Chipotle, would stick with us while they are in college and take advantage of our tuition-reimbursement program,” Cummings said. “They could find the path to restaurateur is an amazing path that they might not have thought of.”

Nation’s Restaurant News quotes Chipotle brand voice lead William Espey:

“If you can’t compete at the bottom in the terms of entry-level wage, what incentive can you build into that process—what path can you create—that’s going to hold your people?” Espey asked. “You’ve got to promise them you’re going to develop them. You’ve got to promise them a future that if they are dedicated and good and strong for the company, you are going to reward them.”

There is so much we could break down in that statement. The fact that Espey essentially said Chipotle can’t raise entry-level wages, which are, according to Glassdoor, around $9 an hour. The word “promise.” The idea that if you work hard now, you’ll be rewarded with a better future.

I am a bit hesitant about any incentive policy that promises a better future tomorrow, because the world isn’t made up of tomorrows, it’s made up of todays. However, Chipotle also appears to be doing its part to give all employees a better future today. Starting by letting them call in sick and still get paid.

Photo credit: Mike Mozart



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