Monday, March 16, 2015

Employee Complaints at 28 McDonald's Restaurants


At 28 McDonald's across the nation, workers have filed safety complaints because they have received severe burns while on the job. Reasons for the injuries include understaffing and pressures to quickly prepare and serve foods. In many cases, workers claimed that their managers instructed that they put mustard or butter on their burns, rather than treat them with proper medical care.

A group called "Fight for $15", who is part of the Service Employees International Union, is supporting the workers in their lawsuits, which were filed with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A McDonald's spokesperson issued a statement saying "It is important to note that these complaints are part of a larger strategy orchestrated by activists targeting our brand and designed to generate media coverage." 

Fast food workers from all around the country report being burned on the job (in fact, the number is reported to be as high as 79%) and not having access to medical first aid kits. How do you see these cases ending? Will McDonald's change their policies and create a real change within their stores, or does something bigger need to happen for workers to be safe on their job? What should be done to help the large number of workers who report injuries and unsafe work environments?

Article here


ElizabethZhou7 said...

I think these cases would most likely rule in favor of the workers since employees should be entitled to a safe working environment. The United States even has legislation such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act that helps ensure employees throughout the nation are guaranteed safe and healthful working conditions. Furthermore, a high percentage of workers reported about being burned so McDonald's can't simply say these were mere accidents. I believe McDonald's will have to change their policies if they still want to keep a good reputation on their brand. It would be ideal for them to set up new regulations that better protects workers and to possibly create better environments for employees.

Katie Wysong 6 said...

I think that the employees would have a chance at winning the case if they could prove that there was not proper first aid equipment available. I don't think the case could be won, by just saying they have to work quickly. It is much harder to prove. Also, I think it would be difficult to prove that it is the fault of McDonald's instead of the individual franchises

Elena E said...

Restaurants in the fast food industry have been known to mistreat their workers for a very long time, especially McDonald's. Without the government watching, employees would be working very long hours in very dangerous conditions for very little pay. (More so than they do now.) In the past, McDonald's, as well as other fast food restaurants, has been very reluctant to meet workers' rights. Although I believe the company must change their practices, it is unrealistic to expect anything drastic from the company for years to come.

Jordan Kranzler said...

I think that the fast food companies have a great incentive to capitulate on their own -- this blowing up into a much larger news story could have really bad PR effects, increasing the movement against these companies (which already exists for a number of reasons) and decreasing the amount of customers they have. Larger changes in McDonalds more will be interesting to follow. They are apparently making some health upgrades: