Well-known breakfast chain Dunkin’ has moved to take away some storefronts from owners after they failed to use the E-Verify system and hired undocumented immigrants.
The company sued nine store locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware as part of a crackdown on employment verification. As IJR Red reported, the E-Verify system is an online database that ensures workers have the proper identification.
“Each of the lawsuits is similar. They each said that Dunkin’ reviewed employment verification documents and practices, found violations at the subject franchisee companies, terminated the operators’ franchise agreements and then swiftly moved to remove the franchisees from the restaurants,” Americans for Legal Immigration PAC said.
Dunkin’ claimed that the issue was hurting their reputation and that the illegal practice had to be stopped.
The Center for Immigration Studies also reported on the issue and cited a Law360 report, saying, “the corporation filed a suit against multiple former franchisees ‘with locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware’ stating that they were ‘sullying the coffee chain’s reputation … [when they] engaged in illegal hiring practices in breach of their contracts.’”
The report added, “The franchisees had failed to use the E-Verify program as their contracts required, according to DD’s lawyers. E-Verify is a government-provided system that informs employers whether or not a worker is in legal status. There is no charge for its usage.”
The E-Verify system, while not federally required, is required by both Mississippi and Arizona as a way to prevent companies from hiring undocumented workers. As IJR Red reported, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) recently created a piece of legislation that would make E-Verify permanent.
Currently, the program requires constant renewal and lawmakers are torn on if it will be a beneficial program due to the system’s inability to identify some forged documents. The program will expire later in the year if Congress does not renew it.