Last week, McDonald's workers in three states filed seven lawsuits alleging that the company is systematically stealing wages through illegal pay practices including failure to pay overtime, forced work off the clock, and erasing hours from their timecards. The lawsuits, filed in California, Michigan and New York, also accuse McDonald’s of denying workers meal periods and rest breaks, and requiring employees to buy their own uniforms or pay to clean those uniforms -- practices that brought the workers pay below the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Five of the seven lawsuits also name some of the company’s individual franchisees as defendants. Two lawsuits filed in Michigan against McDonald’s and the Detroit-area franchise owners, allege that the restaurants told the worker to show up to work, but then ordered them to wait an hour or two without pay until enough customers arrived.
These allegations are not unique to McDonald's -- these are the kinds of complaints our office often hears from restaurant employees and workers at car washes. In fact, they are similar to the facts in several of our current and recent cases. The McDonald's cases are remarkable for their potential size. Just one of the cases was filed against the roughly 100 McDonald’s restaurants in California that are company-owned and operated. That lawsuit seeks to be a class action representing 27,000 current and former McDonald’s employees.
If you want to learn more generally about these kinds of pay practices and their legality, visit our website here.