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U.S. workers sue McDonald's for stealing wages

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BBC World radio had a good report on this this morning. Low hourly wages and then being told, "there aren't many customers now, so don't clock in yet." Sitting unpaid, waiting. I was shocked. It's not as it McD's is just scraping by.

I tend to think of unpaid overtime as a very Japanese problem. It did bring to mind the successful law suit by a Japanese shop "manager" who successfully sued McDonald's Japan for unpaid overtime.

I hope these workers will have as much success.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

" Last August, thousands of workers went on strike at McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants in 60 cities across the nation seeking a minimum wage of $15 an hour…"

Fastfood work is for unskilled laborers(read: high school part-timers, et al ) except managers. Hardly worthy of $15/hr to say "Would you like fries with that?"

But, unsurprisingly managers ask workers not to clock in, effectively defrauding the worker of scheduled worktime.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Oh, just another reason NOT to eat at McDonald’s.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Absolutely right JVJ! An entry level job for uneducated and unskilled. Certainly not a wage to raise a family on however many think it is.

On another note, several years ago I went into a busy inner city Mcd's and the staff was really hustling behind the counter. So much so that if I were working there that's motivation to educate myself for a REAL job.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The practice of shaving legally entitled wages, including worked overtime, from an employee's compensation is mind-staggeringly widespread. Particuarly in Japan. Companies play heavily on culturally ingrained commitment to the success of the "Group" to the point that it breaks the law with nary a concern for repercussions. After all, an employee who complains clearly isn't at the job for the team, but rather for him or herself, which is, of course, an unpardonable sin ccording to Japanese Group-think. So no one complains. And ripping off employees to the benefit of stockholders and CEOs becomes de rigueur.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson received compensation worth $13.8 million in 2013, or approximately $10,000 per hour worked. I for one would like to thank the average Joes working at McDonald's who allowed Don Thompson to achieve the American dream. Without their self-sacrifice, plutocracy could not exist.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I used to work at McDonald's. They made me clock out just to go to the bathroom. Raises are based on performance and are not guaranteed and on many days I did not get a lunch break after 6-8 hours of work. They even had a policy where if you didn't get a lunch break that day, you got to take your food home. The only perk of working there was free McDonald's everyday for lunch which is not a good thing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@MarkG

entry level job

McDonalds' stated and official goal is a work environment that requires zero job training. In other words, they want zombies to run the machines. How is this sort of job an 'entry' to anything? Are they paying so little because it's a job that leads to nothing, or because it's an 'internship' that instills American entrepreneurial values?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fastfood work is for unskilled laborers(read: high school part-timers, et al ) except managers. Hardly worthy of $15/hr to say "Would you like fries with that?"

How do you value a job Jean ValJean? By stress level? By meeting expected performance? By money taken in?

If McDonalds is doing a rip roaring business (and they are) I see no reason why the workers on whose backs that money is made, should not reap comparative salaries. If the owner can afford a brand new BMW every year just for owning the place, I see no reason why the employees should be below the poverty line just because you don't find the labor skilled enough. I bet a larger variety of skills are required than being a garbage man or brick layer. So what? Work is work, and McDonald's employees don't sit around scratching their tummies all day.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I see Mcdonalds and other fast food restaurants where all one has to do is toss some pre-cut fries in a deep fryer, throw some pre-made "burgers/fish patties/chicken/etc" and press a button on a microwave or leave stuff under heat lamps as an entry level low wage job. Yes it's stressful, there are very few jobs that aren't. But it is never really a job where one should be spending the rest of their lives at. It can on the other hand be used as the "experience" requirement for food service.

If you go to a restaurant where actual chef's and professional cooks prep food they have to do a lot more than those at fast food places and are paid accordingly because it actually does require skills beyond what I mentioned above. And also... professional training and education. The cooking textbook I bought for personal use cost $89 USD, the classes themselves are quite expensive.

When I first started working (at 14) I was given a low skilled job as a Janitor @ $5.25 USD an hour. Empty trashcans, mop floors, clean toilets. Then I started working for telemarketing/phone survey companies which ranged between $6-7.25 (plus commissions at telemarketing based on sales completed). That led to almost 10 years customer service over the phone which made me 9.50-12.50 an hour due to experience over that time period.

In spite of all that, I do believe that Mcdonalds should be penalized for their actions as far as not paying their employees for their scheduled hours and interfering with breaks and lunches. All the jobs I've worked for including the low wage ones always gave me one paid 10-15 minute break for 4 hours, and x2 paid 10-15min breaks and an off the clock 30-60min lunch for an 8 hour day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't understand. If the work conditions are so bad, and everyone is being treated poorly, why don't the workers just vote with their feet and leave for another low skill job?

That way McDonalds will be forced to change their ways or maybe increase their wages to attract workers again?

Wouldn't that be better than to just continue to work for McDonalds?

Or is the labor market so flooded right now that there is a line of workers waiting to take even the crappiest jobs?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Laguna

CEO salary is not at issue here. "Wage theft" is.

"Wage theft " is the violation of federal labor laws, including

-- failure to pay the minimum wage and time-and-a-half for overtime

-- denial of meal periods and rest breaks, and

-- mandatory unpaid work.

These are minimum standards.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I see Mcdonalds and other fast food restaurants where all one has to do

You left out getting the orders correct, such as what drinks the customer wants ice in and how my fries of what size should have salt or not. Then making sure all those things are in the bag. Then dealing with rude, crazy and stupid customers. Remembering to mention the specials to them. Knowing what happy meal toys are available and not. Count money correctly without getting scammed. Wear their uniform correctly. Smile even when it hurts. Clean the whole store. Throw away other people's garbage. Take out the trash. And I am sure a million other things I don't know because I don't work at a McDonald's.

Its a job. Nobody is asking you to respect them like a CEO. But its a job and they should be paid for doing it. If the owners rake in enough that they can afford to pay a person enough to work that job indefinitely, then there is no reason they shouldn't. Why should they get rich off of unskilled labor while the laborers who do the actual work remain poor?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You left out getting the orders correct, such as what drinks the customer wants ice in and how my fries of what size should have salt or not. Then making sure all those things are in the bag. Then dealing with rude, crazy and stupid customers.

And that requires how much additional education beyond a high school diploma? I've done customer service (if you didn't notice that in my previous post) and trust me, all that is required to deal with a rude/unhappy customer is personality and paying attention to your job, not a tuition and not a lot of responsibility except making sure you give the customer what they ordered and making sure you don't spread the wrong germs around by following food prep regulations. And last I checked at my local McD we just get an empty cup for soft drinks and go to the self serve booth. Only exception is ice cream or coffee. And while some people do still use cash at the cashier, many more use plastic. One swipe, make sure the payment is approved and send the order. It's not as difficult as you're trying to make it sound. I work with a lot of people who did some food service at and they don't believe its all that difficult compared to other jobs they've had to do.

I have to do the same thing at my job (Pharmacy technician) but I can't make errors because someone can literally die if I make an error and it somehow gets out past 2 other people. I had to get certification and still have to do 24 hours continuing education every 2 years to keep my certificate from "expiring". And the additional education I had to pay for to qualify to work in a hospital requires me to complete the entire course. I get paid for my professionalism, accuracy, knowledge of laws regarding drug dispensing, patient information, and other responsibilities that my position entails. Because I don't have enough experience (Just barely a year in this field) I'm at a low wage for this job which ranges from $10-13 (Retail and Closed door pharmacy) to $13-16+(Hospital pharmacy).

The pharmacists are paid $50-60 because not only are they required to manage and check the work of us technicians, they also have to take responsibility for all of their decisions as it could cost them their license (permanently). They have to counsel patients correctly, inform doctors on prescriptions, the responsibility of making sure a patient doesn't have too much or too little of a medication, and that it is taken properly plus much more.

Pay is determined by skills required, quality of the workers output, and in many higher paying fields, how much responsibility is needed to do one's job. A manager has to take responsibility for the actions of those that work under them, a police officer has to take responsibility for how they enforce the law, a doctor has to take responsibility for their patients health, and a teacher/baby sitter has to take responsibility of their students/other people's children. Even a professional cook has to make sure that everthing is cooked and prepared properly. But fast food service?

Back on topic this isn't about how much they're getting paid at fast food places, its that they were expected by corporate to work off the clock (which by Federal law here is illegal, and McD's doesn't take interns...), and don't get overtime pay if they work past 40 hours per week. Compensation should be sued for in this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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