“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” Cummings said. “And we’re going to be offering the tuition reimbursement that we offer salaried employees to all hourly employees.”
The benefits, which are available to salaried employees upon hire will only be available to hourly employees after one year. I can understand holding off on the tuition benefit which is worth up to $4725 annually. The company is making an investment in their employees and hourly employees are less likely to be making a career with the company that hourlies. The same goes for accruing vacation days. But holding off a year on sick pay makes no sense for a food chain. The last thing you want is to put front line employees who handle food in the position of working sick or not making rent. It’s not Chipotle’s fault that the US is one of the only countries that doesn’t mandate paid sick days, but as long as they are at it, they may as well do everything they can to address the issue.
Two larger questions.
Why did Chipotle only announce this internally? Did they make a calculation about their customers values and decide that their customers wouldn’t care about real live improvements in working conditions? Or were they just feeling a little burned after they got called out on making fake symbolic gestures on environmental improvements?
The big question. How much of this is in response to pressure from organizing fast food workers and some Democrats for higher wages and benefits; and how much is just due to an improving economy and tightening labor markets? My heart says it’s the organizing. My head tells me it’s the economy.