Since 2014, New York City law has required that employers provide paid sick leave to ailing workers. But a joint city and state investigation finds that Starbucks has routinely flouted that mandate—despite boasting last year that it was widely expanding the benefit for its workers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and State Attorney General Tish James announced Thursday that the world's largest coffee chain had previously forced workers to find a substitute when they call out sick. Failing to find that replacement could lead to "corrective action, up to and including termination of employment," according to a review of records, interviews with employees, and multiple subpoenas that began in 2016.

The "widespread violations" of city law have resulted in a settlement, in which the company agreed to change its policy and pay out $150,000 in restitution.

“This settlement should serve as a notice to all employers in New York City that we will always prioritize the rights of workers,” James said in a statement.

Under New York City's paid sick leave policy, employees who work at least 80 hours per year at a company with more than five workers are entitled to paid sick leave. The ratio is one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a limit of 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year.

Last year, Starbucks announced that it was using some of its saving from President Trump's corporate tax cut to expand paid sick and parental leave to both hourly and salaried workers, referred to by the company as "partners."

"We have long understood that success is best when it is shared," CEO Kevin Johnson said in a letter to employees at the time.

A spokesperson for the company did not respond to Gothamist's inquiries about the investigation's findings.

It's not the first time the coffee chain has come under fire for labor law violations. Back in 2008, a federal judge found that Starbucks had illegally fired three workers for attempting to unionize at several Manhattan cafes.

Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO and self-aborted presidential candidate, has previously said that “there was not a need for a union because what he was offering was always superior.”

New Yorkers who believe their bosses may be violating the paid sick leave law can file a complaint here.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Starbucks, Reggie Borges, provided Gothamist with the following statement: "Once alerted to these claims made in 2016 by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, we clarified the policy in question shortly thereafter to and ensured we were in full compliance since the claims.