McDonald’s in trouble

26 November 2019: McDonald’s will pay $26 million to resolve claims the fast-food chain skimmed wages from some 38,000 workers at its corporate-run outlets across California. The preliminary accord settles a years-long legal battle that began in 2013 when Los Angeles McDonald’s worker Maria Sanchez with three other employees filed suit against the company. The suit supported by the labor group Fight for $15 accused McDonald’s of wage theft from 2009.

McDonald’s on 19 November 2019 also agreed to pay, what could be tens of millions of dollars, to its employees in New Zealand for miscalculating holiday wages according to the Holidays’ Act, 2003 for all its past and present employees in the past 10 years. This agreement came after a year-long campaign by the union, Unite Union, which represents about 7% of McDonald’s employees in New Zealand. About 40,000 employees were affected by this deliberate miscalculation.

17 McDonald’s workers in Chicago have also filed suit against the company this month, claiming it had not taken ample steps to protect them from what they called a “nationwide pattern” of violence at its restaurants. Employees at one McDonald’s outlet in Chicago had filed a report with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in May, claiming that their workplace had been the scene of 31 violent incidents over the past six months.

And finally earlier this month, a former McDonald’s employee filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s and one of its Michigan franchisees over alleged sexual harassment. The suit came a week after McDonald’s fired its CEO Steve Easterbrook for violating a policy forbidding relationships between supervisors and their subordinates.

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