Although it can be stressful to challenge your employer about questionable workplace activities, more and more employees are now willing to fight against improper employer behavior that’s plunging them deeper into debt, especially when it comes to not paying proper overtime wages and observing basic employee rights. As might be expected, this seems to happen most frequently with minimum-wage employers. According to one NBC report, many McDonald’s workers in California, Michigan and New York are now suing their employers (often franchise owners) for alleged acts designed to deny employees money that they’re actually owed. At present, “this suit seeking class action status could affect roughly 30,000 workers . . . [and it involves] back pay and other damages.” This type of major litigation, if the class action status is granted, can take years to resolve if both sides refuse to negotiate quickly to resolve their differences. It may become quite complicated since so many separate employers [or franchise owners] are involved – apparently, the majority of the roughly 14,000 McDonald’s in America are owned by franchisees.
Considering how little fast-food workers usually earn – about $7.25 an hour, which is equal to about $15,000 in annual salary – it’s very critical for these workers to be paid on time, including all back-pay owed.
Specific Complaints Being Waged Against Many McDonald Franchises
- Employees say that certain types of workplace software, supposedly designed to monitor labor costs, is costing them money when they’re often “forced to wait around before they can clock in” for a scheduled shift;
- Employees must purchase all of their own uniforms, without proper allowance for this expense – cutting into their already extremely low wages;
- When asked to work overtime, employees indicate that their hours are not always properly recorded or compensated.
What the McDonald’s Lawsuit Should Remind the Rest of America’s Workers
Although most of us know that it can be very hard for those with less education to find gainful employment in this country – especially on the heels of America’s recent recession – workers must be proactive about standing up for their rights. Fast-food chains and other employers regularly make a vast fortune by unfairly using the poor to help them keep raking in constantly increasing millions (and sometimes billions) in profits.
Workers should never be afraid to request a raise on the job or to be properly compensated for overtime and other unique pay situations. If you’ve proven your loyalty with good attendance, high productivity and good customer/co-worker interaction skills, you owe it to yourself to climb your way out of debt by demanding fair treatment. Should you discover that you’re not being paid properly under your work contract, be sure to speak with your Peachtree City lawyer to see what legal options are open to you. Also, if you are so far behind in your bills that debt collectors are harassing you in any manner, you may need to file a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect your rights.
If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so that you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.