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Qdoba, Founded in Denver, Fined $409,400 for Child Labor Law Violations in Massachusetts

Investigation uncovered more than 1,000 violations at 22 locations

A burrito is assembled at Qdoba.
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Qdoba, the national burrito chain that got its start in 1995 at Grant Street and Sixth Avenue in Denver, has been handed a hefty fine for running afoul of child labor laws in Massachusetts.

Eater Boston reported Thursday morning that the office of Massachusetts Attorney General has announced a $409,400 penalty for Qdoba resulting from an investigation that began after the office received a tip from a minor who indicated she had been working late hours at one of the chain’s locations in Newton, Massachusetts.

That investigation revealed “routine” violations where minors worked either too late in the day or too many hours per shift. The initial tip came in March 2018, and the investigation tracked more than 1,000 violations at 22 corporate-owned locations in Massachusetts through May 2019.

That included situations where minors worked more than 11 hours in one shift, more than 48 hours in a week, or later than 10:30 p.m. on an evening before a school day. In some cases, Qdoba also reportedly did not obtain work permits before hiring minors.

The fine is reportedly the largest for child labor law violations in Massachusetts history. At $250 per violation, it is also nearly as much as the entirety of labor violation fines levied for the previous fiscal year in Massachusetts.

Qdoba, which operates dozens of locations in Colorado, was based in the Denver metro area for more than 20 years before its then owner, San Diego-based Jack in the Box, moved the chain’s headquarters to California in 2016. Qdoba has since been sold to the Apollo Global Management private equity firm.

State Attorney General Slams Qdoba with $409,400 Fine for Child Labor Violations [Eater Boston]

Qdoba chain is closing Lakewood headquarters, moving to San Diego [BusinessDen]

Qdoba Mexican Eats [Uncover Colorado]