It's impossible to live on a McDonald's salary—and that's before they trim your earnings to make you pay for your uniform. McDonald's workers in New York, California and Michigan have filed multiple class-action suits against the fast food giant, claiming various forms of wage theft. Allegations include not allowing workers to clock in at their scheduled time, not paying overtime and forcing workers to buy and pay for the care costs of their uniforms.
Suits filed in both New York and Michigan deal with uniforms, which employees are required to wear when on the job. Workers in Michigan claim that buying their own uniforms violates federal labor law because it decreases their wages below the legal minimum. Workers in New York face similar challenges when it comes to caring for and maintaining their uniforms out of pocket.
"Because McDonald’s restaurants pay so little, forcing workers to clean their Golden Arches uniforms on their own dime drives many workers’ wages below the legal minimum," explains attorney Jim Reif who filed the New York suit. "With $28 billion in revenue in 2013 alone, McDonald’s can certainly afford to provide its minimum-wage workers with this money to clean their uniforms, as required by law, instead of making them pay for the privilege of wearing McDonald’s advertising."
The misery doesn't end in Michigan, where another suit claims that two Detroit-area franchises won't let employees punch in until there are enough customers in the store, which violates federal labor law. In California, four suits claim workers were were essentially robbed; they allege McDonald’s and its franchise owners "failed to pay them for all time worked, failed to pay proper overtime, altered pay records and deprived them of timely meal periods and rest breaks," according to a release.
Wage theft isn't limited to McDonald's; 84 percent of workers reported at least one instance of wage theft at their fast food job in the past year. On top of that, multiple nationwide walkouts and protests have occurred over the past few years urging McDonald's and other fast food outlets to pay its workers a living wage. So far, the response from the billionaires at the top has been unacceptable bordering on despicable. How many more reasons do we need to kick the McRib habit?