McDonald’s employees allege wage theft in San Diego protest

Frank S. Clowney III

Working in the fast food industry can be very demanding. Fast food employees must perform their duties in a quick and friendly manner. They are hard workers just like any other workers in California. Most importantly from a legal perspective, fast food workers are employees.

Because of this, these hard workers deserve to have their employee rights observed and respected. But based on the allegations of an employment lawsuit, this is not always the case. San Diego is one of a number of cities across the country that have seen protests staged against fast food giant McDonald’s. The protests are part of a larger battle being mounted against McDonald’s. Lawsuits have been filed in New York, Michigan and California.

Demonstrations are fueled by a variety of accusations levied against McDonald’s by some employees. Among the accusations are that some employees have been made to work while not on the clock, have had hours removed from their time sheets and were not paid earned overtime. One McDonald’s employee states that there are times when workers are not even allowed to take their legally-required breaks.

The lawsuits, protests and subsequent media attention have brought issues allegedly faced by McDonald’s workers to the public’s attention. McDonald’s corporate has issued a statement expressing their concern for the legal, ethical treatment of workers in their restaurants.

If plaintiffs’ accusations are true, McDonald’s alleged employment law violations are disturbing. California law requires that employees working time periods exceeding an eight-hour workday or a 40-hour workweek are due overtime pay rates. Workers are also entitled to meal and rest breaks throughout a workday. Having time worked taken off of one’s timesheet is wage theft; it is illegal.

You should not be shortchanged for your hard work. If you need help recouping due wages you have been denied, an employment lawyer can guide you through that process.

Source: CBS 8, “Locals protest alleged McDonald’s wage theft,” Gene Kang, March 18, 2014