HOUSTON (AP) -- A group of illegal immigrants who worked for Wendy's International Inc. is suing the restaurant chain because the company fired them after discovering it had missed a deadline for joining a federal program that would have helped them attain legal status.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in state district court in Houston, is a companion to a similar class-action suit filed last month in Dallas against Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's, its subsidiary Cafe Express and the Houston-based business law firm Boyar & Miller.
The immigrants, who worked for Cafe Express, are seeking unspecified damages.
Between the two lawsuits, 40 illegal immigrants say they were fired after the company recently found that Boyar & Miller, the law firm Wendy's had hired, never filed paperwork for a 2001 legalization program that allowed immigrants with employer sponsorship or an American spouse to apply for citizenship.
Once the discovery was made, Wendy's was forced by law to fire the employees because of their illegal status. Immigrants in the program would have been insulated from being fired.