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McDonald's Faces Labor Violations Lawsuit

Posted on in Employment

Labor law violations are coming under increased scrutiny, as a result of increased focus on the wide wealth gap, the disappearing middle class, as well as undesirable pay practices, especially those that involve lower wages. McDonald's workers in three states, including California, have filed an employment lawsuit against the fast food chain, alleging that the company frequently cheated them out of wages and engaged in other employment law violations.

The suits have been filed in California, Michigan and New York against McDonald's Corp. and its franchisees, alleging a variety of labor law violations. All the lawsuits together are expected to affect more than 30,000 workers. The lawsuits seek damages, including back pay. The plaintiffs claim that the violations they are alleging are not specific to McDonald's, but they named the company because it is an industry leader.

The lawsuit is likely to heat up the current debate on minimum wages, overtime pay, as well as other employment-related laws. President Obama, for instance, is expected to soon call for more stringent overtime pay rules. Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for new rules that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The current minimum federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour, which means that a worker who works full-time could earn approximately $50,000 a year. If the new rules come into effect, a full-time worker could make approximately $21,000 a year.

The lawsuits against McDonald's detail a number of violations against the company, including the use of a special software program that calculates labor costs as a percentage of the company's revenues. According to the lawsuits, when that ratio exceeds a certain target, workers must wait around before they can clock back in. In the Michigan lawsuit, attorneys allege that workers who are already being paid low minimum wages, have to pay for their own uniforms.

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