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.

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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

Editor

Jane Genova http://janegenova.com began focusing on transitions when the academic market collapsed as she was writing her dissertation in linguistics and literature at the University of Michigan.  After re-establishing herself in the public relations industry, she gradually published on the subject.  Her first piece was on The Professional Woman in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Since then, she co-authored the book THE CRITICAL 14 YEARS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE and myriad e-books and articles on career subjects ranging from emotional intelligence to aging.  In the 1980s she attempted another change by attending Harvard Law School.  She didn’t complete the degree but channeled that experience into maintaining a legal blog [http://lawandmore.typepad.com] housed at the Library of Congress.

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