I'm Lovin' It

By Mark Krikorian on July 17, 2008

A McDonald's franchisee in Nevada pled guilty and agreed to pay a $1 million fine for its knowing employment of illegal aliens (the two executives involved will be sentenced later). This is indeed "a coup for the government's crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants," as the Wall Street Journal put it, but the fact that it's McDonald's is especially important. McDonald's is believed to be the company with the largest number of no-matches — that is, W-2s filed by the employer that have fake or mismatched Social Security numbers. That's from a 2004 report by the Social Security Administration (text, pdf) that didn't name names, but listed the top 100 no-match employers by state for 1997-2001, with one in Illinois as number 1. Since McDonald's is the nation's second-largest employer, is based in Illinois, and employs lots of immigrants, it's no stretch to assume McDonald's is the firm. The Nevada case involved a franchisee, not a company-owned store, but if this prompts McDonald's into doing what Dunkin' Donuts did a couple years ago, and requiring use of E-Verify in all franchise and company stores. it would have a big impact.