Janet Sparks writes at Blue MauMau that fast-food union organizers are once again protesting in cities across the nation. This time their focus has shifted away from higher pay for workers to “theft of wages” by fast-food corporations.
Their main target on Tuesday was McDonald’s Corporation.
While protesters gathered yesterday at the restaurants of the world’s largest hamburger chain, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced its settlement with one multi-unit franchisee. Richard Cisneros, owner of seven McDonald’s in Manhattan agreed to pay half-a-million dollars to workers for stealing their wages.
The franchise owner allegedly failed to pay some of his employees at his seven restaurants for work they were owed, requiring many to work off-the-clock. He also refused to pay them legally required laundry costs for uniforms.
The issue of ‘wage theft’ came about after class action lawsuits were filed against McDonald’s by workers in various states.
Class action lawsuits claiming Alleged Wage Theft
Blue MauMau reported earlier this month that fast-food employees in several states including California, New York and Michigan, filed class action lawsuits against McDonald’s Corporation and various company entities in federal and state courts. While the workers did not name any franchisees in the complaints, they accuse the world’s largest hamburger chain of being vicariously liable because of its strict employment policies and practices, showing its control over the system.
The lawsuits state that through the company’s methods and schemes in paying store workers, they are stealing wages by making them work off the clock, altering their time sheets, and not paying them for uniform maintenance.
Attorneys for the workers are hoping the courts will grant them class action status to allow a vast majority of workers to join in the litigation.
Media coverage of protests stretches across the country