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Michigan McD’s Workers Say They Deserve a Break from Forced Unpaid OT

McDonald’s employees in three states have filed six lawsuits accusing the fast-food giant of wage theft, alleging practices the workers say drop their wages below the federal minimum.

Following months of "Fight for $15" protests calling on higher wages for fast-food workers, some Michigan McDonald's employees have joined in six lawsuits filed in three states.
Following months of "Fight for $15" protests calling on higher wages for fast-food workers, some Michigan McDonald's employees have joined in six lawsuits filed in three states.

Some Michigan McDonald’s Corp. employees are accusing the Illinois-based fast-food giant and its independent restaurants of forcing them to work off the clock and without higher overtime pay, effectively lowering their pay to below the federal minimum wage.

They have joined McDonald’s workers in two other states – California and New York – in six lawsuits accusing McDonald’s Corp. and its independent restaurants of wage theft, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

In a statement, McDonald’s says the chain is reviewing the workers’ allegations.

"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 company said.

The lawsuits, filed Wednesday in federal courts, follow months of “Fight for $15” employee protests targeting McDonald’s and other fast-food companies and seeking higher wages.

"It is time for McDonald's to stop skirting the law to pad profits," Sharnell Grandberry, one Michigan plaintiffs and a worker at a Detroit McDonald's, said in a statement. "We need to get paid for the hours we work."

Two lawsuits have been filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan against McDonald’s and two franchises. Employees allege the owners of the franchises forced them to wait until the restaurants began filling with customers before they punched in for their shifts, or until the ratio of labor costs to income revenue reached the acceptable corporate standard, the newspaper said.

They also allege the company – which in a somewhat ironic twist is famous for its “You deserve a break today” advertising slogan – also forced them to take extended unpaid breaks and pay for their own uniforms, further driving their wages below the federal minimum.

Ruth Luce March 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM
We do not get paid for our breaks, most people don't get paid for not working and I have never paid for my uniform! Just saying, maybe raise the minimum not uncalled for but $15 is highly out of line. I do need and am grateful to have my job at McDonalds, they don't need my defense and I don't necessarily love them but just the facts!
steve March 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Breaks are usually mandated by work laws in each state. In California you have a minimum 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon as an official paid break, plus a minimum of one-half hour for lunch (unpaid) sometime during the day. Breaks are supposed to be a "paid pause" in the work effort to allow you to perform personal care and take a breather.
Ed Callahan March 15, 2014 at 07:03 AM
A position with McDonald's should not be a career path. If you don't like your job, find a new one that pays more.
l.c. March 26, 2014 at 09:03 AM
"A position with McDonald's should not be a career path".could be a sign of the times & there are some workers whom have moved up the ladder & run the biz.to treat employees as the article suggests is wrong;time to boycott if you haven't already.

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