Chipotle Receives Subpoena From SEC Over Allegedly Hiring Undocumented Workers

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc has received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, after the burrito chain allegedly hired undocumented workers.

According to Reuters, the subpoena follows audits by both U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm, resulting in the chain firing around 500 employees.

The Washington Post reports that:

“Chipotle said Friday that the subpoena it received Thursday requested information regarding its compliance with employee work authorization requirements, plus related information. It says it intends to fully cooperate with the SEC’s investigation.”

Chipotle stated that the subpoena included:

“…information regarding our compliance with employee work authorization requirements, our related public statements and other disclosures, and related information.”

Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney, told Reuters that it is “not common at all” for the SEC to be involved in a case like this. He further stated:

“It’s often a ping-pong between the Justice Department and immigration authorities.”

He elaborated that the Department of Labor can sometimes step in as well. Robert Luskin, the attorney for Chipotle, stated the opposite. He wrote in an email to Reuters that:

“…it is not at all unusual for the SEC to join an investigation under these circumstances to determine whether the company has been forthcoming in its public statements.”

Chipotle has long been known for its ability to control costs, while it continues to expand rapidly. They are especially noted for their ability to control labor-related expenses. Chipotle shares closed at a high of $392.13 per share, according to Reuters, which is 18 times higher than their 2006 debut of $22.

Chipotle has stated they plan to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Check out more information about Chipotle Mexican Grill here: