According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been seven class-action lawsuits filed by McDonald's restaurant employees recently. The suits charge McDonald's with systematically stealing wages from employees in a variety of ways.
Some of the plaintiffs said that the burger chain did not pay overtime as they were required to do. Others said they were forced to do work "off the clock", pay for their own uniforms, and were not given timely breaks at work.
A spokesperson for McDonalds, Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, said in a statement:
"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."
Some of the lawsuits were leveled at area franchises, as opposed to the parent McDonald's corporation, though 2 of the suits did name the headquarters company.
The Tribune went on to report that one of the attorneys in the case, one Joe Sellers, had said in a statement:
"In the past, McDonald’s has tried to shield itself from liability from these unlawful employment practices committed at its franchise restaurants. We believe it is time McDonald's accepts responsibility for the pay practices at its franchise restaurants."
One of the workers, Jason Hughes, says that the wage theft consisted of his being asked by management to clock out during slow periods during the day, but to remain on the premises, ready to clock back in when things got busy.
McDonald's is no stranger to lawsuits. The infamous "hot coffee" suit polarized people for years, and provided fodder for late night comedians and politicians alike. But the Golden Arches have also seen suits over obesity and, in one strange case, damages for a man only being given a single napkin with his order.
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