Chipotle offers corporate employees unlimited PTO, adds parental perks

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Chipotle continues to add to their benefits package with offerings as diverse as the toppings on a burrito bowl.

The restaurant chain announced on Thursday that some of its corporate employees will receive unlimited PTO. Chipotle executives say the move will test the benefit’s practicality; if successful, the company may decide to extend it to employees working in their restaurants.

Corporate employees will also enjoy upgraded parental benefits, including increased paid parental leave to 12 weeks off for birth mothers. New fathers and parents of adopted children will receive four weeks off. The company will also cover the entire cost of a new breast milk shipping benefit, which will allow working mothers to pump and ship breast milk back home while they travel for work. Employees choose their breast milk shipping provider and Chipotle reimburses the cost. Management roles at restaurant locations are also eligible for the new parental benefits.

“Over the past year, we’ve positioned ourselves as a leader in curating an environment that maximizes the potential of our outstanding workforce,” said Marissa Andrada, CPO of Chipotle, in a company announcement. “We want to ensure our employees are able to share important moments with their family and have the necessary time away from work to recharge after a monumental life event.”

Working mothers will also have access to a new company resource group called HUSTLE (Humans Uniting to Support the Ladies Experience). The group is providing what the company has coined “Returnity” Guides — the program provides new moms with information on how to contact their benefit team; the best ways to voice their needs to return to work successfully; company suggestions to help make their return successful and company-provided resources that can help.

Chipotle is one of several companies that have bolstered their paid leave and parental benefits: Intel, The Washington Post and Goldman Sachs increased the amount of time off new parents receive. Employees certainly value these benefits; four out of five mothers say their employer could do a better job of supporting breastfeeding parents, according to a January survey of more than 2,000 working mothers by Medela, Mamava and MilkStork — companies designed to help working mothers breastfeed.

Chipotle has been continuously expanding their benefits offerings for employees: last year, Chipotle announced it would provide employees, including restaurant crews, with free bachelor degrees in business and technology through a partnership with Guild Education, an online college. Chipotle also offers tuition reimbursement for restaurant employees attending traditional colleges.

“Chipotle recognizes that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential,” Andrada said when the program was announced. “We are proud to launch this opportunity for debt-free degrees by providing free tuition to help our employees excel in all areas in their lives, both in and out of Chipotle.

While Chipotle has committed to bolstering their benefit offerings, the company has also faced backlash. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts attorney general filed a lawsuit against Chipotle for violating child labor laws. Chipotle agreed to a settlement of $1.4 million. In response to the lawsuit, Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief reputation officer, said in a corporate-issued statement that the company was “committed to ensuring that our restaurants are in full compliance with all laws and regulations.” She also stressed that Chipotle will continue to support minor employees.

“We believe that in hiring workers beginning at age 16, we can provide younger employees with valuable experiences and provide a compelling work environment,” Schalow said.

Last year, the restaurant chain implemented a new bonus program that gives food service employees the opportunity to earn up to a month’s extra pay in bonuses, provided their location meets corporate sales goals. So far, Chipotle has paid its restaurant crews over $2.75 million in bonuses. The company also provides employees with telemedicine, mental health and emotional support services and English-as-a-second-language classes.

“At Chipotle, we’re not only looking to compete for the industry’s best, we’re looking to keep the industry’s best,” Andrada said in a previous interview. “Chipotle is about cultivating a better world, building a real community that works together to win together, and this bonus program provides a strategic investment in the people who make up the brand.”

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