Burrito chain Chipotle won’t mandate the COVID vaccine, but will cover associated costs for staff


  • Brian Schulman / Courtesy of Chipotle

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told CNBC on Tuesday the company won’t require workers to get the coronavirus vaccine, despite recent guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stating companies could require employees to show proof that they have received the shot.

The Southern California-based chain will strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated against the virus, even committing to paying for the associated costs, industry website Restaurant Dive reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Sunday that restaurant workers should be next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, just after the elderly and essential workers.

Over the course of the pandemic, Chipotle has offered $6.5 million in bonuses to field leaders, apprentices and managers as well as expanded its emergency paid leave benefits to cover workers who have been directly impacted by the pandemic.

The chain had already offered an impressive — by industry standards, anyway — sick leave policy that offers three paid sick days, as well as vacation and personal leave options.

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