McDonald’s Settles ‘Wage Theft’ Lawsuit

The $26 million payout will go to California employees.

December 04, 2019

CHICAGO—McDonald’s has settled a lawsuit with California employees who had accused the chain of not paying them correctly, NPR reports. The class-action lawsuit alleged that the fast-food chain structured shifts that prohibited employees from overtime pay, while also not giving them any mid-shift breaks. Workers also accused the company of not reimbursing them for the expense of keeping their uniforms clean and ironed.

In settling, McDonald’s did not admit to any wrongdoing, instead releasing a statement saying it was “deeply committed to the fair treatment of all of our employees. … While we continue to believe our employment practices comply with the California Labor Code, we have decided to resolve this lawsuit filed back in early 2013.”

The settlement comes a week after more than a dozen Chicago workers filed a lawsuit alleging the chain failed to protect them against customer attacks and harassment. The suit pointed to extended late-night hours and store designs as ways workers were left open to such attacks. Two weeks ago, a former employee and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a Michigan franchisee and corporate company over “systemic sexual harassment” of female workers.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s workers in the United States rallied in pursuit of higher wages and better handling of sexual harassment in the workplace.