Is McDonald's Stealing Employees' Wages?

Lawsuits say McDonald's fails to pay employees for all hours worked

McDonald's staff, England UK
Alamy
McDonald's and some of its franchisees have been hit with multiple class-action suits, with workers contending that the company is stealing wages by forcing them to work off the clock and even pay for the cleaning of uniforms.

The suits were filed Wednesday and Thursday in New York, Michigan, and California, and demand that McDonald's pay back the allegedly stolen wages and end the practices the suit says lead to reduced income.

"We work hard, and our wages are already at rock bottom," said McDonald's worker Sharnell Grandberry, a plaintiff in the Michigan suit. "It is time for McDonald's to stop skirting the law to pad profits. We need to get paid for the hours we work."

The Michigan suit asserts that McDonald's regularly forces employees to wait without pay until enough customers show up, with managers telling workers to clock in or out based on information provided by software monitoring the ratio of labor costs to revenues. This practice, the suit claims, continues until a target ratio is achieved.

It also alleges that the company routinely violates minimum wage laws. According to the suit, workers are forced to purchase and clean uniforms at their own expense, driving their wages below the legal minimum.

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"With $28 billion in revenue in 2013 alone, McDonald's can certainly afford to provide its minimum-wage workers with this money to clean their uniforms, as required by law, instead of making them pay for the privilege of wearing McDonald's advertising," said Jim Reif, an attorney who filed the New York suit.

Labor law violations in the fast food industry have been a hot topic recently, with workers rallying for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour and protesting mass firings. And it's not the first time McDonald's has aroused ire lately; one worker was fired for allegedly giving a homeless man a hamburger.

But this month's lawsuits coincide with a larger movement regarding the minimum wage, with President Barack Obama and many Democrats in Congress advocating the federal minimum wage be raised to $10.10, even as a recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that such an increase could result in about 500,000 jobs being lost by late 2016.

McDonald's said in a statement that it is currently investigating the allegations. "McDonald's and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald's restaurants," the company said.

Nevertheless, the workers involved in the suits hope that the attention on McDonalds' payment practices will have a ripple effect on the broader industry. "The company continues to take advantage of me and my co-workers," said McDonald's worker and plaintiff Guadalupe Salazar. "We can't allow them to play by a different set of rules just because they're big. They need to respect us, and this suit will help them do that."

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chrissf4529

People need to reserve judgement until they understand the difference between Franchise, and corporate owned.Many of the stories condemning an entire company, are strictly limited to local Franchise restaurants.During the holiday season last year,A Pizza hut manger was fired because he would not open the restaurant on Thanks giving. Comments like "I will never eat at...."The Pizza hut corporation had nothing to do with the opening on Thanks Giving. It was strictly a local owners (Franchise) choice to fire this manager

April 08 2014 at 11:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
twhodog1

yes this is a real problem with burger king my son worked there and they would tell him he had to clock out be cause he had to many hours but still work he quite shortly after that same burger king had two people killed on the night shift

April 08 2014 at 11:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Daniel J. Bryant

has anyone sued them for selling food with High Fruitcose Corn Syrup. That is dangerous to everyone. It makes you crave there Garbage. It is the Nicotine of Food. Of course smoking is good for you :-)

April 02 2014 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
npnozie

Just making fun.

March 27 2014 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
npnozie

NO burgerking does!

March 27 2014 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Regardless if the employed at McDonald's is a teenager, retired or an under skilled worker, they should be paid
for all time worked and be treated with respect and dignity. As far as a living wage it's well known that you can't support yourself and especially a family on those wages. That's the kind of job it is. Facts are facts no matter how you spin it.Stealing time from workers should be dealt with harshly and escalate with each offense. The workers
should get their wages plus a chunk of the fine.

March 20 2014 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Not Missing McD's

McDonald's panders to a high illegal immigrant population. I gave up trying to order from people who cannot understand me and I cannot understand them. I haven't been to a McDonald's in over six months and I don't miss them at all. My complaints fell on deaf ears when I suggested part of the verification of skills included the interviewer standing at the drive through and attempting to place an order with the non-English speaking personnel.

March 18 2014 at 6:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
usci1

Working less = less income = less food consumption = less obeisity = healthier people = less health care costs = less demand for government mangement = less cost for government = reduction in taxes = more money for those that work = ....
ye'all get the picture?

March 15 2014 at 12:27 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
usci1

How about the COMPLAINERS come up with SOLUTIONS that work to keep their jobs $$$ worth it? Lawsuits only add debt which = need for more burger sales.
People can't eat if they don't have the $$$ to do so. The national economy can add to the problem or add to the solution. That depends on leadership.

March 15 2014 at 12:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
timberforest14

I made 50 crnts an hour on the farm, I never complained and I washed my own clothes, Big Macs gonna whine when minimal goes to 11.00hr

March 15 2014 at 7:04 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to timberforest14's comment
golfbird69

so did i.....but in those days....you could buy 2 burgers and a fry for 50 cents.......

March 15 2014 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
twhodog1

yeah bet you walked uphill with no shoes to go to school too lie

April 08 2014 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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