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Chipotle Still Disregards Sick Leave Laws Despite New Coronavirus Urgency, NYC Staffers Claim

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It has new urgency with the novel coronavirus cases — plus more intel

Chipotle To Close Restaurants For Few Hours For Food Safety Meeting
A Chipotle in Manhattan
Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

NYC Chipotle worker alleges the chain punished him for calling in sick

As the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases across the country and NYC shoot up and officials encourage work-from-home situations, many people are pointing out that service workers often don’t have the luxury of calling in sick. On Friday, at least one Chipotle employee walked out of his job — alleging that the company wrote him up for calling out sick even though he showed flu-like symptoms. He told Gothamist that he felt sick before the start of his 7 a.m. shift but couldn’t abide by the two-hour warning for his absence because nobody showed up at the Midtown location until 6 a.m.

The company offers three paid sick days immediately upon employment, a Chipotle representative told Gothamist, and wants its staff to stay at home if they’re feeling ill. But staffers who protested on Friday allege that Chipotle still isn’t abiding by the law. Just last month, city officials found that the Mexican fast-casual chain illegally fired a staffer for using sick leave. As part of a settlement, Chipotle had to pay her the wages that they withheld during her leave and an additional $2,500 in restitution fees.

In other news

— ICE agents forcibly stormed into Spanish restaurant La Cabana in Brooklyn and violently pepper sprayed an employee working there who had been identified as an undocumented immigrant, without explaining to her what was happening.

— After a decade, the East Village location of Xi’an Famous Foods has closed.

— But an Eleven Madison Park-trained chef is opening a fine dining Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood.

— Must admit: We’re intrigued by this proposed Asian-Mexican restaurant in Hell Square with the punny name Juantons.

— The East Village location of Mighty Quinn’s is temporarily closed because of a gas leak.

— Essex Crossing’s new location of bowling alley the Gutter is almost open.

— Celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda is doing a panino pop-up at Time Out Market.

— If you wanna watch a man down 32 Big Macs in a row, boy does competitive eater Joey Chestnut have a video for you.

— Apparently the Upper West Side is a particularly friendly scene for women to open and run restaurants.

— The New York Times Hungry City column takes a look at the bento boxes of Boerum Hill Japanese restaurant Rice & Miso.

— Remember your tote bags, friends: