UPDATE: Oct. 8, 2020: A judge granted the agreement final approval Oct. 5, according to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.
- McDonald's has agreed to pay $26 million to settle wage and hour claims filed by California cooks and cashiers, according to court documents. The class action was originally filed in 2013 on behalf of 38,000 employees across the state, according to a press release emailed to HR Dive's sister site, Restaurant Dive.
- The suit claimed that McDonald's violated state rules that require workers to receive overtime pay when they work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period. McDonald’s scheduling would attribute hours worked to the day the shift began rather when the work actually took place, the workers alleged.
- The suit also claimed the chain did not provide rest breaks or full meal breaks during busy times at the restaurant, and didn't properly reimburse employees for uniform maintenance.
As part of this most recent settlement, McDonald's agreed to provide a one-hour wage premium to each crew member each day the company doesn’t provide a full, timely meal period or rest break; allow workers to leave the restaurant during meal breaks without restriction; maintain detailed electronic time records that track each meal period or break; provide uniforms to crew members as needed; and no longer make workers take rest breaks when their shifts start or ends out of convenience to the store over the worker.
The agreement represents the latest in a string of employment issues McDonald's has been facing. A class action lawsuit filed in November alleged the chain failed to act and prevent sexual harassment at a chain in Michigan, while a separate lawsuit claimed it failed to address violence at a Chicago restaurant. Local government officials and Democrats have also been urging McDonald’s to create more stringent anti-sexual harassment policies.
The employer also has served as one of several faces of the joint-employment debate. One of the issues related to sexual harassment, for example, is that while many of the franchise operators received training, it hasn't necessarily reached store managers and employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor is in the midst of promulgating regulations that could provide clarity on when multiple employers should be liable for employment violations, but they won't be finalized until December.