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McDonald’s Sued by Workers for Pay Practices

The world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s Corp., is being sued by employees who claim they are being idled without pay for minutes and hours while at work, according to Bloomberg. They are being idled without pay when demand from customers slows, which is a direct violation of federal and state labor laws in the United States.

Three lawsuits have been filed, in California, Michigan and New York regarding the issue.

“These suits have been filed to stop this widespread wage theft,” Joseph Sellers said. Sellers is a lawyer for plaintiffs in California and New York.

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Two complaints were filed in federal court in Detroit that claim employees are forced to pay for their uniforms, which drops their wages below the legal minimum. Sellers is from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. He said that some workers are not being given their proper break and meal times either.

The law firm said that complaints were also filed in Alameda County and Los Angeles County, California and the Eastern District of New York.

“We are currently reviewing the allegations,” Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem said. Sa Shekhem is a spokesperson for Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s. “McDonald’s and our independent franchisees are committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and will take any necessary actions as they apply to our respective organizations.”

The workers in Detroit are looking to sue on behalf of a class of co-workers. One of the defendant franchises employs more than 1,000 ‘crew members’ and another defendant has hundreds. Sellers thinks that some 30,000 workers could be included in these lawsuits.

The complaint states that workers in Detroit are scheduled based on projections from historical data about when locations will be most profitable. The workers call this “just-in-time” staffing. When the stores do not meet the projections, workers are removed from the clock for minutes or hours at a time so profit targets can be hit.

“Meanwhile, these workers — who had been scheduled to work that day — must wait,” the employees alleged. “They cannot effectively use that time to work at another job or even to enjoy their leisure.”

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