Last spring, I praised Dunkin’ Donuts for volunteering to participate in a government database program to verify that workers are here legally. The company was responding to customer concerns about illegal employees. Only 6,200 out of the nation’s 8 million employers participate in the screening program.
The company continues to be vigilant. The Star-Ledger reports today that Dunkin’ is suing franchisees that it says were knowingly employing illegal aliens:
[The company has] filed a lawsuit in federal court asking a judge to terminate the franchise agreement it has with two stores in Central Jersey, saying the owners knowingly accepted false documents, used false Social Security numbers and paid employees in cash.
The company has filed similar lawsuits seeking to sever ties with franchises in Boston, Atlanta and Florida, where it is has accused three franchises of hiring illegal immigrants.
The lawsuits come a year after Dunkin’ Donuts became the most well-known corporation to enroll in Basic Pilot, a voluntary U.S. Department of Homeland Security program that allows employers to perform electronic document checks to verify that applicants are eligible to work.
Under the Senate bill, the electronic verification program, currently used by less than 1 percent of all U.S. businesses, would become mandatory.
Dunkin’ Donuts officials declined to comment on the lawsuits.
In a written statement, company officials said that requiring its 5,100 stores to enroll in Basic Pilot “is the right thing to do for our franchisees, for Dunkin’ Brands, and most of all, for our franchisees’ workers.”
Go buy some Dunkin’ gear here. It’s the right thing to do. And yummy, too.