Super-Sized Settlement: 1,600 NYC McDonald’s Workers Will Receive $500,000 in Back Pay

By Joe Bodolai (c) 2010, All rights reservedThe Huffington Post‘s Dave Jamieson reports that the state of New York has reached an agreement with the owner of seven Manhattan McDonald’s locations that will result in 1,600 current and former employees receiving a combined $500,000 in back pay.  An investigation by the Labor Bureau found that workers were not properly compensated for uniform costs, did not receive overtime for shifts lasting more than 10 hours, and were routinely forced to perform duties off the clock.  The owner of the franchises, Richard Cisneros, has agreed to use a third-party administrator to ensure that workers are properly compensated.  

In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said:

“Like every other business in New York State, fast food employers must follow our labor laws.  Our lowest wage workers deserve the same protections of the law as everyone else. It’s critical, for them and for their families as well as for our economy, that we remain vigilant so that no New Yorkers are cheated out of their hard won earnings.”

The case comes at a time of increased scrutiny for the fast food industry. McDonald’s itself recently acknowledged the momentum of the wage increase movement while a nationwide protests demanding livable wages (more took place Tuesday) have brought to light the injustice of working full-time for peanuts.  It is part of a national shift in consciousness that could lead to sweeping change.  Several McDonald’s wage lawsuits are in play now, with others focused on different chains and types of misconduct elsewhere.

AG Schneiderman has made low-wage workers a priority in the past year.  Recently, he created a Fast Food Worker Complaint Form to streamline the process for those who feel they are not being paid in accordance to the law.  He has also been very tough on employee misclassification.

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