DFEH and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Reach Settlement in Employment Religious Discrimination Case

May 8, 2019

For Immediate Release

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. agrees to pay $20,000 and to develop statewide religious accommodation policy

Sacramento, California — The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in an employment religious discrimination case with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. The settlement involved a former line worker at a Chipotle location in Alhambra, CA, who alleged he was fired for requesting a religious accommodation.

The former employee filed a complaint with DFEH on April 21, 2018 alleging Chipotle failed to accommodate his religious practice which required him to wear a religious bracelet at all times. The complainant was sent home by a manager when he refused to remove a bracelet worn by adherents of his Santeria Ochosi faith. A manager at a different Chipotle location had provided the religious accommodation to the complainant.

DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred and the case was referred to mandatory mediation, where it settled prior to litigation.

“California law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for religious dress and grooming practices,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “Californians of all faiths are entitled to reasonable accommodations for religious practices that do not impose an undue hardship on the employer.”

To settle the case, Chipotle agreed to pay $20,000, provide religious discrimination prevention training to human resources staff, and to develop a policy for all California locations regarding religious practices that require accommodations in the workplace.


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.

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