Topic: Society

AMC Entertainment
(May 2006)

It is a sad state of affairs when a company qualifies as an ethics hero by simply doing what is necessary in order to obey the spirit of the law, but that's America in 2006. AMC Entertainment, the nation's second-largest movie theater operator, routinely screens employees to make sure that they have valid Social Security numbers, a process that exceeds what the law requires of employers. Thus AMC is one company that refuses to play the popular and cynical corporate game that encourages illegal immigrants to allow themselves to be exploited by taking "jobs that Americans won't do" (Translation: jobs for which the companies aren't willing to pay fair wages). Current U.S. law only requires employers to ask its employees for documentary proof of legal status, and does not put the onus on them to check whether the documents are genuine as long as they look genuine. AMC, however, submits lists of its employees' Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration for review. If there is a discrepancies, the company requires the worker with the dubious Social Security number to provide their original Social Security card within 3 days or to immediately contact the local Social Security Administration office.

This means that AMC is being a good corporate citizen by doing its part to enforce immigration laws rather than undermine them. It means that the company probably has to pay more for its lower level jobs. And it means that every other large corporation that makes illicit profits by facilitating illegal immigration is full of hooey when it claims that verifying the citizenship of employees is impossible.

Take heed, all you corporate vilifiers! There is no benefit that accrues to AMC by doing more than the law requires. It won't make more people go to see "The Da Vinci Code"; it certainly won't make more people buy tickets to the lousy re-make of "The Poseidon Adventure" (Where have you gone, Stella Stevens?). It's just the right thing to do, and AMC is doing it.

Now if only they could start charging a reasonable amount for popcorn….

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