Chipotle Board of Directors and Officers Under Investigation for Hiring Illegal Immigrants
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is not out of the woods, yet. It now appears that Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a New York securities firm, is investigating Chipotle’s Board of Directors and Officers in regard to allegations that the Company hired illegal immigrants. In particular, they are investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duties by the Board and/or Officers in relation to the hiring of illegal immigrants.
Public companies generally have a responsibility to shareholders and by hiring illegal workers, Chipotle has jeopardized the company’s legal and financial standing, which in turn, impacts the shareholders.
Following a Form I-9 inspection in 2010 of Chipotle’s Minnesota restaurants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a Notice of Suspect Documents to the company. This notice indicated a large number of Chipotle employees that appeared to not be authorized to work in the U.S. As a direct result of this inspection and subsequent notice, Chipotle terminated over 450 employees in Minnesota – 33% of its workforce in that state! (Generally, employers only have a few days to resolve such issues after receiving these notices from ICE).
As a result of the Minnesota inspection, ICE has since expanded its investigation to include several additional markets as well (Virgina, Washington, Washington D.C.), which have resulted in additional employee terminations.
According to Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, Chipotle also received a notice from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia that it is conducting an investigation into these matters through its criminal division. Not good.
What started out as a small blip on the Chipotle radar, is beginning to mushroom into a legal, financial and public relations nightmare. Chipotle and other employers that have been investigated by ICE could have had a different story, if they had utilized Form I-9 Auditing, LLC’s I-9 auditing, electronic I-9 and E-Verify services. Then, instead of finding updates on “Immigration Probe” on the 1st page of Google search results for Chipotle, you would actually find where to find the nearest burrito.
For more information on I-9 auditing, electronic I-9 and E-Verify software, contact Form I-9 Auditing, LLC.