Detroit-area McDonald’s workers sue company alleging they were underpaid
Detroit-area McDonald’s employees have filed two lawsuit against the company and two local franchisees, alleging they were regularly forced to work without pay for an hour or two until the store gets busy.
“We work hard, and our wages are already at rock bottom,” Sharnell Grandberry, a McDonald’s worker in Detroit who earns about $250 each week and is a plaintiff in one of the Michigan suits, said in a statement “It is time for McDonald’s to stop skirting the law to pad profits. We need to get paid for the hours we work.”
The lawsuit also contends McDonald’s drives some employees’ wages illegally below the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour by requiring them to purchase uniforms for work.
According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court of for the Eastern District of Michigan, the plaintiffs contend McDonald’s uses software to carefully schedule the labor it needs each week to maximize daily profits.
“When a day’s sales do not keep up with those projections, McDonald’s makes just-in-time adjustments to its staffing requirements by taking employees off the clock—and off the payroll—for the minutes or, sometimes, even hours that McDonald’s determines necessary to maintain its profit targets at every moment throughout the day,” the complaint says. “Meanwhile, those workers—who had been scheduled to work that day—must wait. They cannot effectively use that time to work at another job or even to enjoy their leisure.”
In a statement to The New York Times, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants. We are currently reviewing the allegations in the lawsuits. McDonald’s and our independent franchisees are committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and will take any necessary actions as they apply to our respective organizations.”
The lawsuits were announced earlier today by the organizers of a union-backed movement that is urging fast-food restaurants to bump up wages to, at a minimum, $15 an hour, The Times reports. Similar suits were also filed in California and New York.