Chipotle Has On-Call Nurses Who Check That Employees Who Call in Sick Are Not Just Hungover

At Chipotle, it’s not just the guac that’s extra. Some of its employee procedures are too. Take, for example, the fact that they have a nurse check if employees are actually sick or just hungover when they call in sick to work.

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol explained the procedure at a conference, according to Business Insider. “We have nurses on call so that if you say, ‘Hey, I’ve been sick,’ you get the call into the nurse,” he said. “The nurse validates that it’s not a hangover—you’re really sick—and then we pay for the day off to get healthy again.”

Now, this isn’t a way to just expose or embarrass employees. It’s actually done to make sure Chipotle restaurants have the cleanest and healthiest conditions possible. Back in 2017, there was a norovirus outbreak in Virginia that was linked to an unenforced sick policy at the Tex-Mex chain, CNBC reported. Managers were letting Chipotle employees work while they were sick, which spread to customers.

The on-call nurses are meant to make sure every employee is healthy enough to be working when they’re on the clock. It’s a challenge, though, to make sure restaurants remain safe and clean no matter how many preventative measures are taken.

“We’ve got cleaner that actually kills norovirus when you clean the tables in the dining room,” Niccol added, per Business Insider. Hopefully, this will help ease anyone’s apprehension they may have had following the 2017 incident.

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