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Managers at fast food chain support wage theft allegations

Managers from locations of the global fast food restaurant McDonald’s told a worker’s advocacy group that on many occasions they intentionally stole wages from employees. Their statements are adding fuel to the fire that is the current conflict between corporate headquarters and employees of the many thousands of McDonald’s locations across the country. Workers for the franchise say that wages are too low and that the company encourages practices by management that results in wage theft.

One example of wage theft is unpaid overtime, in which managers will require employees to stay late without additional pay or without paying them the appropriate overtime rate of 1.5 times their normal pay, or asking employees to clock out but remain at work.

In the case of the McDonald’s employees, one former manager who had worked in locations across the east coast, including some here in Maryland, said that he had asked employees to clock out early to control costs and had deducted costs like name tags, meals, and uniforms from their paychecks. All of this was done to keep labor costs low for the franchise.

If these allegations are true then the franchise owners who participated in this conduct will likely be held responsible, along with the corporation itself if there were any overarching policies that led to this conduct. At this point it is not clear why the former managers have spoken out and if their allegations have been corroborated by others. However, the allegations do sound similar to those made by current and former employees, suggesting that there is some truth to the matter.

Source: Gothamist, “McDonald’s Managers Admit to Stealing Employee Wages,” Nell Casey, April 1, 2014. 

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