Dunkin’ Donuts has filed suit against Anuja Inc., operator of two franchises in Somerset and Middlesex, over the hiring of illegal immigrants. The lawsuit contends the owners knowingly accepted false documents, used false Social Security numbers and paid workers in cash.
Dunkin’ Donuts requires all franchise owners to participate in Basic Pilot, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) electronic employment-eligibility-verification system. The company has filed suit against franchise owners in several other states for hiring illegal workers.
Final note: The lawsuits may be the company’s way to protect itself from potential liability should employees with questionable credentials sue for overtime or wage-and-hour violations. Remember, you can still be liable for unpaid overtime or minimum-wage violations even if the employees who sue are illegal immigrants and can’t legally work in the country.
DHS is currently pursuing criminal action against dozens of employers.
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