Saturday, May 30th24.7°C
26493

McDonald's workers in 3 states file lawsuits over pay practices, allege 'wage theft'

NEW YORK, N.Y. - McDonald's workers in three states filed lawsuits against the fast-food chain this week, saying the company engages in a variety of practices to avoid paying them what they're owed.

The suits in California, Michigan and New York against McDonald's Corp. and its franchisees come amid growing attention on the country's widening wealth gap and pay practices in low-wage sectors. While the labour violations outlined in the suit aren't specific to McDonald's, lawyers said they targeted the company because it's an industry leader.

Taken together, the suits seeking class action status could affect roughly 30,000 workers, lawyers said in a conference call arranged by organizers of the recent fast-food protests. The suits seek back pay and other damages.

The suits were announced the same day President Obama was expected to call for stricter rules on overtime pay. The White House, Democratic lawmakers and labour organizers have also been pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which translates to roughly $21,000 a year for full-time work. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said in a statement that it is investigating the allegations and will take any necessary actions.

"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.

The lawsuits detail a range of violations, including the use of software that monitors the ratio of labour costs as a percentage of revenue. When that ratio climbs above a target, attorneys say workers are forced to wait around before they can clock in. In Michigan, lawyers said workers have to pay for their own uniforms, which further eats into their already low wages.

The six lawsuits and one amended lawsuit announced Thursday include both franchise-owned and company-owned restaurants. McDonald's Corp. is named in all the suits, however, because lawyers say the company exerts control over staffing at all its locations.

"There are a number of ways the two seem to work together," said Joseph Sellers, one of the attorneys representing workers, in reference to the relationship between the company and its franchisees.

The vast majority of the more than 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. are owned by franchisees.

Workers named in the suits were referred to attorneys by the group behind the recent fast-food protests that have popped up around the country. The Service Employees International Union has been providing financial and organizational support to the push.

A representative for BerlinRosen, the public relations agency co-ordinating media efforts for both the fast-food protests and the lawsuits, said the timing of the announcement on the same day as Obama's overtime proposals was coincidental.

One of the suits was filed in New York, two were filed in Michigan and three were filed in California. An amendment to an existing lawsuit in California was expected to be filed Thursday.

___

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26416


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15014.09-92.89
S&P CDNX692.45+0.29
DJIA18010.68-115.44
Nasdaq5070.03-27.95
S&P 5002107.39-13.40
CDN Dollar0.8029-0.0017
Gold1204.30+1.50
Oil60.86+2.49
Lumber273.40+0.90
Natural Gas2.83+0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.14+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.46-0.02
Cantex0.03+0.00
Anavex Life Sciences0.40+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.07-0.01
Russel Metals25.07-0.13
Copper Mountain Mining1.27-0.03
Colorado Resources0.10+0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.022+0.009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.16+0.01
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.28+0.18

 



26361

FEATURED Property
1953675207 1450 Bertram Street
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$175,900
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Yard sale pricing

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have deliberately abridged this household tips article to illustrate pricing strategies. "Tips For Pricing Yard Sale Items” was written by Lynnette Walczak, and publi...


What's a robo-advisor?

Photo: ContributedIt can only be attributable to human error. -Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey For most of us who are within thinking distance of retirement, the term “robo” conjures up image...


Cash stressed seniors

Photo: Thinkstock.comFor many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their...

_



26363




Member of BC Press Council


25334