McDonald’s Being Sued Over Employee Pay, New Protests Focus On “Wage Theft”

March 18, 2014  |  

Fed up with being paid low wages by one of world’s largest corporations, several employees are taking McDonald’s to court. A number of lawsuits have filed against the fast food chain recently accusing the company of a variety of practices to get around paying workers what they’re due.

Suits have been filed in California, Michigan, and New York against McDonald’s and its franchisees. The six lawsuits and one amended lawsuit involve both franchise-owned and company owned sites. The lawsuits charge  a number of violations such as the use of software that figures out the ratio of labor costs as a percentage of revenue. “When that ratio rises above a target, attorneys say workers are forced to wait around before they can clock in,” reports The Grio.  Lawyers also say workers in Michigan must buy their own uniforms, which violates labor rules.

President Barack Obama, Democratic lawmakers and labor organizers want to increase the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (or about $15,000 annually for full-time work) to $10.10. Obama has already told the Labor Department to amend rules that will make overtime pay accessible to a number of groups who couldn’t get it before.

In a statement, McDonald’s said it is looking into the claims 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.

Most of America’s more than 14,000 McDonald’s locations are owned by franchisees.

Meanwhile, the people who aren’t suing McDonald’s were protesting against it. Rallies in New York (where the photo above was taken), Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston sought not only the $15-per-hour wage increase that workers have been rallying for for some months now, but also called out the chain for what they call “wage theft,” highlighting some of the practices alleged in the aforementioned lawsuits.

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