News & Resources

Chipotle under fire for poor employment verification

Feb 10, 2011 Brian Bradley

Chipotle, famous for its overstuffed burritos, is facing heat from federal immigration agencies after it reportedly stuffed Minnesota locations with improperly documented workers. In all, the restaurant chain dismissed hundreds of workers after the company was found responsible for poor identity verification practices.
 Immigration and Customs Enforcement has demanded that Chipotle undergo an audit of all of its I-9 forms. The chain has approximately 1,100 locations in the United States and 25,000 nationwide employees, with more than 1,200 employees in Minnesota alone. Company spokesman Chris Arnold told The Wall Street Journal that the company will completely adhere to ICE's request. Arnold also told the paper that Chipotle demands two forms of legal identification from all prospective employees. However, it's not only in Minnesota that Chipotle has caught heat. More than 60 locations in Washington, D.C., and Virginia were also under investigation for the same faulty hiring practices. The investigations could also put a snag in Chipotle's expansion plans. Arnold told the WSJ the chain plans to open 135 to 145 more locations, but that the scrutiny "creates significant disruption to companies and in the lives of employees."