McDonald’s: Workers File Multiple Class-Action Lawsuits

New York / NY. (cmst) Attorneys representing McDonald´s workers in California, Michigan and New York last week filed class action lawsuits in federal and state courts claiming the fast food giant is systematically stealing employees´ wages by forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards, and not paying them overtime, among other practices. The suits demand McDonald´s pay back these wages and stop its illegal theft of workers´ pay.

«We work hard, and our wages are already at rock bottom», said Sharnell Grandberry, a McDonald´s worker in Detroit, who earns about 250 USD each week and is a plaintiff in one of the Michigan suits. «It is time for McDonalds to stop skirting the law to pad profits. We need to get paid for the hours we work».

According to national employment rights specialist Joseph M. Sellers, of Cohen Milstein Sellers + Toll PLLC: «Despite reaping tremendous revenues and profits thanks to the labors of crew members who earn at or just above minimum wage, McDonald´s is unlawfully failing to pay its workers for all the hours they work and for necessary expenses they incur relating to the uniform McDonald´s requires them to wear. Not only do its practices cause a substantial financial burden for McDonald´s workers, they violate state and federal minimum wage laws as well as other state labor laws». Sellers and his firm are co-counsel in the lawsuits filed in California and New York.

Taken together, the lawsuits in California, Michigan and New York contend that McDonald´s, which raked in nearly 5,6 billion USD in profits last year, regularly fails to pay workers for all the hours they work.

The allegations are not isolated ones. A survey conducted in New York last year by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed that 84 percent of fast-food workers are victims of wage theft. In response to the survey, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into pay practices in the state´s fast-food industry.

«Hidden from view among salaried workers, wage theft is a scourge that eats away at the livelihoods of already-underpaid hourly workers», said Catherine Ruckelshaus, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project. «As these cases show, it is a persistent problem in too many low-wage industries like fast food, which is why the US Department of Labor has named restaurants and fast food as one of its priority industries for strategic enforcement. McDonald´s requires its workers to work off-the-clock, show up for work without consistent shifts, and deducts expenses from their already-meager pay, chiseling wages while earning billions in profits. These violations can run into the millions of Dollars quite quickly, and as one of the largest low-wage employers in the country, McDonalds should be setting standards, not undermining them».

«We are tired of McDonald´s abusive behaviour», said Guadalupe Salazar, a McDonald´s worker in California who earns about 480 USD for each 15-day pay period and is one of the plaintiffs. «The company continues to take advantage of me and my co-workers. We cannot allow them to play by a different set of rules just because they are big. They need to respect us and this suit will help them do that».

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