Fast-food workers in three states, including New York, are joining together in a string of class-action lawsuits to fight for fair pay. Seven lawsuits have been filed in the three states alleging that McDonald’s Corporation has been using a variety of unlawful techniques to avoid paying workers what is due under state and federal laws. In five of the class-action wage-and-pay lawsuits, individual franchisees that operate the fast-food restaurants are also named as defendants.
Workers in New York say that they were not fully paid for work performed. Overtime issues are not the only compliant that the workers claim are involved. Employees say that they have been forced to work at times that they were not on the clock – meaning that they have essentially been forced to work for free for periods of time. In addition to the wage issues, the workers say that they have unlawfully been stuck with the bills related to work uniforms.
Hourly workers, especially in the fast-food industry, have been seeking to assert their rights to fair pay for some time now. Minimum wage issues have been the subject of many public discussions in recent months. But, New York and federal laws set other standards for how a worker should be compensated, such as the requirement that employers pay hourly workers overtime. Being paid for hours worked -- even if the hours do not implicate overtime hours -- is also an obviously important employee right.
Workers in any walk of life should be paid for hours worked. New York residents who believe that an employer is violating wage-and-hour laws should consider speaking with an employment law attorney for assistance in seeking a claim against an employer who may be violating an employee’s rights.
Source: CBS Marketwatch, “Fast-food workers sue McDonald's for wage theft,” Erik Sherman, March 13, 2014; Yahoo News, “Workers sue McDonald's for stealing wages,” March 13, 2014