Thank you for your patience as we manage a difficult and unexpected event that affects our bakery and employee family.
Rustic Bakery recently was the subject of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worker documentation audit. These “I-9” audits have become more frequent in recent years, affecting thousands of small businesses and their employees, particularly in California.
During the I-9 audit, it was determined that a number of our workers had improper or incorrect documentation of employment eligibility. These workers provided key kitchen, bakery and retail services and were paid a fair and living wage with benefits. We consider them our friends and part of our bakery and broader Bay Area community.
As a result of the I-9 audit, and at the risk of federal prosecution, jail time and/or penalties, Rustic Bakery was given the ultimatum to terminate any employee unable to provide corrected documentation.
Our response is in several parts:
1. Our bakery retail outlets will be operating a limited menu starting on February 18 as we hire and retrain new staff. Please check our website daily for menu availability.
2. All departing employees are being paid a severance to help them transition during this difficult period.
3. Legal aid and advocacy groups have been contacted to help address this situation, including the following organizations: La Raza, ACLU, and Immigrant Legal Resource Center
We appreciate your interest and support during this difficult time.
Rustic Bakery Management