Chipotle Says It Fired 450 In Minnesota Last Year

DENVER (WCCO/AP) — Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. says it fired about 450 Minnesota employees last year who couldn’t prove they were eligible to work in the U.S.

The Denver-based restaurant chain previously hadn’t disclosed how many workers were dismissed after a Department of Homeland Security audit of employees’ work documents, saying only that it was in the hundreds.

Chipotle disclosed the number in a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chipotle says it requires all employees to have documents proving they are eligible to work in the U.S. but some workers may still be unauthorized.

A federal audit of workers’ documents also is under way at Chipotle restaurants in Virginia and Washington, D.C., to see if their documents are authentic or contain false information.

Former Chipotle employees filed a class action lawsuit in district court earlier this month. Former workers and supporters also held several demonstrations outside the Chipolte in downtown Minneapolis.

The former workers said the Mexican restaurant violated Minnesota’s payment wage act. The group’s attorney said the company has failed to pay earned wages or do so in a timely manner.

A Chipolte spokesperson responded, saying the workers’ demands are misplaced and that the company is paying everyone everything they are owed.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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