Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant.
Photo by Craig Warga/Bloomberg/Getty

Chipotle workers to receive tuition reimbursement, sick pay


Hourly workers at Chipotle restaurants will be able to receive tuition reimbursement, paid leave and sick pay starting on July 1, the company confirmed to msnbc on Tuesday.

The benefits were initially available just for those with paid salaries at the fast-casual Mexican chain.

“We are always working to attract and retain the very best employees we can and to helping develop our people so they achieve their full potential,” said Chris Arnolds, communications director for Chipotle. “As part of that effort, we are changing our benefits package …”

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The move, which will reportedly affect 48,500 employees who currently are paid by the hour, comes as fast food workers across the country have urged the industry to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Arnold would not provide any details on what tuition reimbursement would entail and exactly how many sick and paid leave days employees would receive, saying “We’ll have more details to share when this is up and running.”

One big fan of the new policy, however, is Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state tweeted out an ABC News story about the new benefits, writing “We knew we liked you, @Chipotle.” The praise comes after Clinton’s visit in April at a Chipotle in Maumee, Ohio – en route to Iowa—received a lot of buzz with many suggesting the lunch stop was a move to appeal to working class voters.

Other corporations, including McDonald’s, Target and Starbucks have previously launched tuition reimbursement programs of their own.