More details have emerged in the ongoing saga between McDonald's and its employees, who claim the chain has found ever more creative ways to steal their money. Now comes confirmation from some former McDonald's managers, who say they were regularly forced to steal workers' wages by their superiors. Worker advocacy site Low Pay Is Not Okay spoke with two former managers with a combined 18 years of experience at McDonald's; the two say that on multiple occasions they were asked to alter employee wage sheets or otherwise manipulate a worker's hours to save the franchise money on labor costs.
"I've had employees literally clock out to work because they were either going into overtime or labor was getting extremely high and we had to balance it," reveals Kwanza Brooks, a McDonald's manager for 10 years in multiple stores in North Carolina and Maryland. "I have witnessed deductions being done with employees whether it was uniform, a name tag, a meal, whether it was anything. They would deduct and they would take it out of your payroll."
"My GM was sitting at the office desk and notified me and four other managers that there was a crew member that went over 40 hours," recalls Lakia Williams, a six year veteran managing three different stores. "She was going to take the rest of those hours and put them on the following pay period." Other examples of theft include denying employees breaks—while docking them the time anyway—forcing employees to clock out but continue working and making employees work off the clock before and after their scheduled times.
"They weren't the teenagers," says Williams. "They were the 30-to-40-something mothers working multiple jobs at the time where they couldn't get a full-time work status." Watch the whole revolting account below:
If true, these new allegations would confirm what studies have shown about the widespread wage theft suffered by people in these already low-paying jobs. To be sure, the Golden Arches make for an easy target, but they're not the only guilty party; late last year, workers at Domino's Pizza protested similar practices and were terminated for making noise.
Lawsuits against both the Domino's franchise and some McDonald's franchises were ultimately settled, with employees emerging victorious on both counts. It's a great win for these select few, but there are undoubtably more workers who are afraid or unable to come forward. Sweeping changes in regards to living wage would be helpful; so would virtuous business owners.
A McDonald's spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.