McDonald’s Under Fire for Worker Practices

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March 14 (Bloomberg) –- Altshuler Berzon Partner Michael Rubin discusses class-action lawsuits against McDonald’s. He speaks with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Workers.

Workers started coming to us, first in bribes, and then in droves, as workers spoke to other workers and let them know what was going on.

We conducted detailed investigations.

We talked to the workers.

We looked at their documentation.

We compared their punch in and punch out records.

We were able to build what we believed was a very strong case of wage theft against mcdonald's and the franchisees.

Just so i understand, originally, mcdonald's workers came to you, or you went to mcdonald's workers?

Originally, mcdonald's workers came to us.

The main case we joined yesterday was filed about a year ago in los angeles, on the half of mcdonald's workers throughout the state.

That was the beginning of the process.

Workers have been coming out, complaining more and more about what is happening in the workplace, and have finally overcome their fear of coming forward, concerns about retaliation, in order to share their stories with the attorneys.

We have done the legal research.

Yesterday, we filed the complaints to pursue these allegations against mcdonald's and its franchisees.

If you have the evidence that pay stubs do not reflect time worked as indicated on punch cards, it sounds to me like you have a case.

The break time issue is a little harder.

They are supposed to be entitled to break time, but not at a specific time, and not reflected on a punch in and out.

Like that is actually not the case.

Donalds, like every employer under california law, is required to note when someone goes in and goes out.

In addition, although not required by law, mcdonald's does record electronically when every rest break is taken.

We have, in some cases, and will obtain, in other instances, every record showing -- mcdonald's records showing who went in and out of breaks, including when breaks were not taken, or were shorter than the law requires.

We will have fairly extensive documentary evidence in this case, evidence that will also show the break records were altered by the managers to make it seem as though workers were not on breaks.

These records happen to show not only the final version, but any modification to those records that occurred after the workers punched in and out.

We will have a complete documentary record.

We have already seen quite a bit of that.

We believe the evidence is strong.

This seems like an extraordinary amount of research and man-hours you are putting in.

How are you compensated for all of this?

We want the workers to be reimbursed for the wages that were taken from them.

Under california law and under federal law, if we prevail, if we establish that our allegations are true, ultimately mcdonald's is going to pay the attorneys fees in the case on top of the payment may have to make to the workers.

We are quite confident that we will be paid for our efforts, and that the workers will be made whole.

Most importantly, mcdonald's. engaging in those practices.

Going forward, the workers in these low-wage positions will be protected from the sort of wage theft we have alleged here.

We invited mcdonald's to participate in this conversation and the company declined.

They furnished a statement.

Mcdonald's shares commitment to the well-being of all people who work in mcdonald's restaurants.

Just a moment ago, you referenced the possibility that other fast food chains would have to follow suit.

Whatever the findings are from this case, they would drive other fast food chains to behave the same way mcdonald's may have to.

Isn't mcdonald's a bit of an easy target?

I know you said mcdonald's worker started coming to you.

But if these practices are evident at other companies, as you believe they are at mcdonald's, why go after mcdonald's alone?

It is not necessarily the case that we are going after mcdonald's alone, nor is it necessarily the case that we are only going after the particular franchisees that we sued in this first round.

Tell us more.

We are getting more workers coming in with more information, more documentation.

We are continuing to investigate.

Our resources are limited.

We are taking these cases a step at a time.

We are making sure we do not file any case until we are confident we can prevail.

We are continuing to work out other cases, against mcdonald's and others.

Do you have an active case against other fast food chains?

No.

we are engaged in active investigations of allegations from workers.

At this point, we have not filed any other case against any other fast food chain.

He is acting on behalf of

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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