As weird as it probably sounds, McDonald’s is a company that I have been very close to all my life. Growing up back home in the Philippines, my parents, sisters and I would gather and watch movies together every Sunday. Everybody knows movies go best with fast food, so that was added to the mix shortly after. Eventually, Sundays in the Elizalde household became known as McMovie night because McDonald’s was the one fast food place each member unanimously agreed on each week (we’re kind of obsessed, it’s pretty weird.. my birthday cake has featured a McDonald’s burger and fries way too many times). Anyway, to this day, McDonald’s has remained and will always be my fast food destination of choice.
Personal biases aside, McDonald’s as a company has done a lot of things right. It is no surprise at all that it is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. The company was one of the first to essentially master the art of fast food service in 1940 and has since been growing at a rapid pace. McDonald’s is currently serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across more than 36,000 outlets.
McDonald’s will always be a beloved company, known for feeding so many hungry people everyday. However, they also have a long history of legal issues. One of the most recent issues they have faced was a Lawsuit filed by fast food workers for alleged wage theft. Apparently, over 25,000 low-wage employees working at McDonald’s franchises in California, Michigan, and New York are being systematically cheated of their wages. According to attorneys who filed seven simultaneous lawsuits against McDonald’s for violations of the labor law, McDonald’s is stealing wages by forcing workers to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards and not paying them overtime. In addition, franchise owners in Michigan and New York are not allowing employees lunch breaks that are required by law. Furthermore, one lawsuit alleges that McDonald’s is violating New York’s minimum wage requirement of $9 an hour by making already underpaid workers pay out-of-pocket for uniform maintenance.
“Not only do these practices cause a considerable financial burden for McDonald’s workers,” says Richard Sellers, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuits. “They violate state and federal minimum wage laws as well as other state labor laws. They highlight a broad array of unlawful pay practices, which together reflect ways in which McDonald’s has withheld pay from its low-paid workers in order to enrich the corporation and its shareholders.”