Detroit-area McDonald’s workers sue company alleging they were underpaid

March 13, 2014
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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.

  • Ricardo Queso

    “lawsuits filed in Michigan against McDonald’s and two Detroit-area franchise owners”
    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the US Chamber of Commerce – on behalf of major corporations – is buying off GOP and Dem leadership to push through immigration “reform” that is nothing but amnesty and increases in new immigrants joining the work force. Employers know that new immigrants will be too cowed to complain or to join unions or file lawsuits.
    Instead of joining the Dems in selling out to the oligarchs, the GOP should be using this opportunity to drive a wedge between the minorities of Detroit and the Dem party, by showing how current legal minority low-income citizens are being thrown under the bus, so that employers can replace them with new, even cheaper labor that will just shut up and do as their told.

  • Tim Flannery

    A comma after “company” would make the headline less confusing. Is a company alleging or the workers?