McDonald's McPressure: Employees Told to Vote GOP or Else
McDonald's owner Paul Siegfried handed employees more than their paychecks. It was some political McPressure in the battleground state of Ohio.
Included with the paychecks from the Canton, Ohio, McDonald's were handbills stating that if the GOP didn't win the midterms, employee pay and benefits would suffer. The names of three GOP candidates to vote for were included. One employee sent the material to a lawyer. Outed, Siegfried backed down and apologized. McDonald's issued a statement that it had not been aware of the material and such distribution was not part of company policy.
But the legal mess is just beginning. And, given the way the law plays out in employment matters, it could go beyond the individual owner to the deeper pocket of McDonald's Inc. The employee's lawyer has contacted the head of the city of Canton law department and cited state and federal laws against corporate advocacy during elections. If a class action lawsuit is filed, this could be one of the most closely watched employment matters in the country as well as around the world. In nations like France and the United Kingdom, there is considerable labor unrest.
In addition, you have to wonder how McDonald's will deal with Siegfried because of this hit to its brand name.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...