Dunkin’: Bad for America’s Waistlines, But Good for America’s Workers
Bank of America recently announced plans to sever its existing relationship with any company providing services to migrant detention centers, while American Airlines asked that their planes not be used to transport migrants. In an age of “corporate social responsibility,” these businesses have bowed to ginned-up pressure special interest-driven boycotts, and Twitter campaigns.
However, a few companies are making decisions based on the American people’s interests, rather than in response to a small segment of vocal critics. After an orchestrated walkout by some employees who opposed the company providing beds to migrant detention facilities, furniture retailer Wayfair circulated a letter to employees affirming its commitment to “sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate,”
Wayfair did make a symbolic gesture to disgruntled employees with a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross, but not to the pro-amnesty lobbying group the blackmailers had wanted.
However, one business meriting real distinction is the coffee and donut retail chain Dunkin’ (formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts), which is continuing to take a no-nonsense attitude toward enforcing workplace immigration laws.
Dunkin’ sued nine local franchisees in Delaware and Pennsylvania for not using E-Verify, according to Restaurant Business. The magazine also reports that charges were made against the franchisees by Dunkin’ about providing “misleading or inaccurate information” to investigators.
In April, Dunkin’ Brands, which includes Baskin-Robbins, took legal action against franchisees in Virginia and New Jersey over improper employment verification. In fact, according to The New Food Economy, the company has taken action to shutter the doors of 30 locations on the East Coast since September 2018.
The online magazine says Dunkin’ has in most cases followed a similar process after conducting an initial review of store records. Once Dunkin’ discovered “franchisees hadn’t verified the employment status of their workers, [they] moved to terminate the franchise agreement, and then took the store owners to court to enforce it.”
In 2006, Dunkin’ Donuts became one of the first companies to participate in E-Verify, the free online system that verifies potential employee eligibility by matching data from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
More importantly, their participation in E-Verify is not for the sake of appearance. According to a 2016 article in Retail Wire, franchises have posted signs in their store windows informing potential employees and the public that “We follow the law! This company hires lawful workers only.”
The company’s record of putting a premium on adherence to the law seems to have not impacted its bottom line, nor which political party gets its money.
Dunkin’ Brands, which is based in the sanctuary state of Massachusetts, has donated more in the latest election cycle to Democrats ($15,139) than Republicans ($850). That is similar to previous campaign cycles dating back to 1990, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
When Dunkin’ initially committed to more thoroughly vetting its employees, a company spokesman explained that the company believed “this is the right thing to do for our franchisees, for Dunkin’ Brands, and most of all, for our franchisees’ workers.”
More than a decade later, it remains the right thing to do for Dunkin’ Brands, not to mention the millions of Dunkin’ employees across the nation.