Dunkin’ Sues Franchisees for Failure to Use E-Verify to Determine Work Eligibility of Employees

Due Diligence

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In June of 2019, coffee and doughnut franchise Dunkin’ sued several franchisees in federal court for failure to use the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program “to properly determine their employees’ eligibility to work in the U.S.,” according to a report from Restaurant Business.

Restaurant Business reports that the lawsuits filed by the Canton, Massachusetts-based company against the operators of nine Dunkin’ locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania come “amid what appears to be a crackdown on franchisees employment verification practices.”

Each lawsuit “said that Dunkin’ reviewed employment verification documents and practices, found violations at the subject franchisee companies, terminated the operators’ franchise agreements and then swiftly moved to remove the franchisees from the restaurants,” Restaurant Business reports.

E-Verify is a web-based program that allows employers to confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided on the ‘Form I-9’ against records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA).

E-Verify is a voluntary program except for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause. Employers may also be required to participate in E-Verify if their states have legislation mandating the use of E-Verify.

In June of 2019, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced the Permanent E-Verify Act to remove the termination provision that requires Congress to repeatedly extend the program, according to a press release on the Senator’s website. Without legislative action, E-Verify will expire on September 30, 2019.

“I urge my colleagues to take action on this important legislation to make E-Verify permanent, and continue working on long term fixes to secure our border, update our asylum and trafficking laws, and institute mandatory E-Verify nationwide,” Senator Romney stated in the press release.

There were 863,528 employers using E-Verify as of May 2019, representing approximately 14 percent of U.S. employers, according to a summary about the legislation. Congress has repeatedly extended the E-Verify program – often only one year at a time – since its original expiration date.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global provider of background checks – offers Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions to help employers maintain a legal workforce. To learn more about Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions from ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Form-I-9-E-Verify/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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