The Securities and Exchange Commission Launches Probe Into Chipotle Hiring Practices

SEC subpoenas Chipotle records

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Chipotle as part of an investigation into the restaurant company’s hiring practices.

Chipotle is alleged to have been hiring undocumented workers, and Reuters reports that a previous Homeland Security audit led to Chipotle firing approximately 500 employees a little more than a year ago. The Homeland Security investigation is ongoing through its Immigration and Customs Enforcement department.

Chipotle reports that the SEC subpoenaed information regarding the company’s "compliance with employee work authorization requirements, our related public statements and other disclosures, and related information."

Chipotle’s attorney Robert Luskin claims it is "not at all unusual" for the Securities and Exchange Commission to get involved in an investigation to make sure a company has been properly forthcoming.

But Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney and former federal prosecutor, asserts that it’s "not common at all" for the Securities and Exchange Commission to get involved with immigration matters. Wildes is not involved in the Chipotle case, but he asserts that usually immigration matters just involve the Justice Department, immigration authorities, and maybe the Department of Labor.

Chipotle says it received the SEC subpoena May 17 and that it will cooperate fully with the investigation.

Luskin says he is "very confident that the SEC will find that the company fulfilled all of its obligations."