Foodservice Equipment Reports

Immigrant Worker Woes For Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill has created headaches and made headlines over its hiring practices and compliance with immigration laws. Roughly 500 undocumented workers have been fired as a result of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement audits of the chain's hiring paperwork in Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C. On May 13, U.S. immigration agents interviewed employees in about two dozen units in Atlanta, Los Angeles and other cities. Unlike many rivals that sell franchises, Chipotle owns and operates its 1,100 restaurants and is ultimately responsible for hiring.

Immigrants, both legal and illegal, account for about a quarter of the foodservice industry workforce, or about 1.8 million workers, according to an analysis conducted for Reuters by the Migration Policy Institute. In 2009, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that 12% of the workforce in food preparation and serving was undocumented.

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