McDonald’s workers in 3 states have filed wage and hours lawsuits against the fast food giant – including both the company and several franchise owners. The lawsuits allege numerous Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, including illegally underpaying employees by erasing hours from the workers time cards, failing to pay required overtime and ordering them work “off the clock.” Pursuant to federal labor law, non-exempt workers are entitled to received overtime compensation at a rate of one and ½ their standard rate of pay for every hour worked in excess of 40 in any work week. If you have any wage and hour questions or believe that you may not have received all the compensation you are entitled to, it is a good idea to consult with a dedicatedAtlanta wage and hour lawyer right away. A knowledgeable FLSA attorney can review your circumstances and help determine your next steps.
In this instance, the workers in California, Michigan and New York alleged a variety of employment abuses. For example, in two of the Michigan workplace lawsuits, workers claimed that they were ordered to show up to work, but then required to wait – without pay – up to two hours to begin working while they waited for customers to arrive. Additionally, the lawsuits also claim that the employees had to purchase their own uniforms. If true, these allegations could mean that the workers wages illegally dropped below required minimum wage.
In California, the FLSA lawsuits raised additional claims, including that the workers were not paid for all hours worked, that hours were “shaved” from their pay records and that they were not allowed rest breaks or meal periods.
Such abuses are common allegations in wage and hours lawsuits. Other issues raised in these lawsuits are whether the company should pay for the costs of laundering the uniforms. As a spokesperson noted, “Because McDonald’s restaurants pay so little, forcing workers to clean their Golden Arches uniforms on their own dime drives many workers’ wages below the legal minimum.”
An interesting legal issue in these cases is whether McDonald’s Corporation should be considered a joint employer and share liability with its franchises. Workers rights attorneys are hoping that these lawsuits draw attention to the push for an increased minimum wage for many fast food workers.
For more information or if you believe that you have not received all the compensation you deserve, please contact the experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP.