On Wednesday, May 19th 2021, cooks and cashiers employed with McDonald’s held a one-day strike in Los Angeles to demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage at all locations. They were also protesting against the company’s alleged failure to protect its workers from workplace sexual harassment, violence at the workplace, exposure to COVID-19, higher wages & workplace safety.

As a part of the Fight For $15 movement, the workers did not go to work for one day in 15 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Miami, Tampa, Orlando etc. Fast food giant Employees has demand first to have higher wages & workplace safety during this pandemic.

Rosa Calderon who works as a cook at a McDonald’s in Santa Clarita said that her pay was recently revised to $15 an hour, but unfortunately, she was asked to work fewer hours. She stated that McDonald’s had cut down a lot of hours for individual workers but piled them with double tasks. She demanded that these unfair working hours and work needs to change and fair schedules for all workers should be introduced.

McDonald’s had announced pay hikes for over 36,000 employees who were employed at 650 company-owned locations. However maximum of McDonald’s restaurants are franchise restaurants, which are based at around 14,000 locations. These locations are yet to boost the minimum pay for the employees.

On May 13 MacDonald’s had announced that it plans to raise hourly wages at company-owned restaurants by an average of 10 percent. The protesting workers said that other chains like Costco, Amazon, Starbucks and Target have already raised their base pay to $15 an hour.

The protesting employees have urged the state lawmakers to pass two bills that are aimed at helping low-wage essential workers and communities of color who are hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic.

The two bills are:
• Assembly Bill 257 aims at creating a fast-food sector council that would include workers’ opinions for setting up industry-wide safety and employment standards. These standards will help hold corporations like McDonald’s responsible for protecting their employees
• Assembly Bill 1177 aims to create a financial services platform to help reduce the widening wealth gap resulting due to the exclusion of low-wage communities of color from basic banking services.

The fast-food giant has said that during the pandemic more than 50 enhanced COVID-19 safety precautions were introduced that included increased cleaning and sanitization, compulsory masking, installation of protective barriers and contactless operations. There are daily temperature and wellness checks for all the employees to ensure their safety.

Employees working at corporate restaurants received two weeks of paid time off in case of Covid infection. The company also provided four hours of paid time to staff working at their corporate-owned restaurants who receive the vaccine.

Employees in California have the employee legal right to claim compensation if the state’s wage and hour laws are violated by their employer.

The Common wage/hour state law violations in California are:
• Not paying California’s minimum wage
• Not paying for overtime hours
• Asking employees to “work off the clock“
• Not providing required meal/rest breaks during the working hours
• Misclassifying employees to exempt them from wage/hour requirements
• Misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

If you believe that your employer is violating any of the above California wage and hour laws, get in touch with an experienced California workers compensation lawyer who has experience in handling cases related to the employment law. If you are not being paid your due salary, are not being paid overtime or if you are not allowed to take breaks are per the law, contact us at Khashan Law Firm at (951) 461-2387 for a free, confidential consultation.