After this April’s announcement that it would drop any GMO ingredients from its menus and a national campaign designed to raise awareness on the benefits raising meat ethically may bring, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. takes another ethical move. It plans to make part-time workers’ lives a little more convenient.
A few days ago, the company announced that part-time staffers would be offered paid vacation, paid sick leave and tuition reimbursement as of July 1, 2015. Before the announcement, only full-time workers were entitled to such benefits.
The restaurant-chain’s recruitment strategy manager JD Cummings disclosed that employees’ welfare was as important as the quality of ingredients Chipotle uses in its menus. The company explained that its new decision was a new effort of “employee branding.”
The move was announced at a conference by Cummings and a colleague. The two executives also expressed their hope that the new benefits would boost the company’s competitiveness on hiring new workers and keeping their old employees loyal.
Cummings said that a good entry-level wage was crucial to make workers stay and do their jobs properly. He also said that employees expect from companies a promise that they would be helped with their personal development and career prospects within the company.
Though paid sick leave is relatively common for salaried workers and managers, about 82 percent in the private business benefit from it, for hourly workers it is rare to get paid while you are sick.
According to the Labor Department, only 40 percent of service workers receive paid sick leave in the private sector. So, for part-timers the figure may be even lower, while they are even less likely to benefit from paid leave.
Not being able to have a paid sick leave often forces part-time workers to come to work while they are ill, which may worsen their disease and even cost them their job.
By all standards, Chipotle runs an ethical business. It is highly committed to offer its customers the best food options out there, while ditching GMOs and promoting ethically raised meat to the point of suspending the sales of some of its food items because it couldn’t find meat that was properly raised.
Moreover, about 95 percent of managers are former workers that had been promoted within the company. But the move to focus more on hourly workers comes in the midst of a national debate over the minimum level of hourly wages. Employers are also interested in raising pay and benefits to attract new workers amid a new record low unemployment rate. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chrysler also promised that they would tuition reimbursement to hourly workers.
Image Source: LA Times Blogs
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