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McDonald's Franchisee to Pay $500K to Workers for Back Wages

McDDSC_0773New York’s attorney general announced yesterday that a McDonald’s franchisee in Manhattan has agreed to pay $500,000 to workers for cheating them of out of pay.

Reuters reported yesterday that the settlement is the second from an ongoing New York investigation into alleged labor law violation at numerous fast-food chains. And the court action comes a week after McDonald’s in three states sued the world’s largest hamburger chain over alleged wage theft and other pay issues.

U.S. restaurant and retail workers, many of whom earn minimum wage and live below the poverty line, have helped spark a national debate over income inequality. Their efforts are backed by U.S. organized labor, which has experienced plummeting membership in recent decades.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the settlement with franchisee Richard Cisneros, who owns seven McDonald’s, included damages and interest and will benefit more than 1,600 workers.

Reuters reported Cisneros’ response to the settlement.

I value my employees - and it is important to me that they be paid correctly," Cisneros said in an emailed statement. Cisneros, whose McDonald's restaurants are each operated by a separate corporation, said his companies had corrected "mistakes" and are now fully compliant.

The investigation found that from 2007 to mid-2013 Cisneros’ restaurants at times required some of their 700 cashiers to work “off-the-clock, before or after their shifts. Some were required to pay out of their own pocket any cash register shortages. Cisneros’ companies also refused to launder or pay for the cost of cleaning workers’ uniforms.

This is not the first time fast-food chains have been caught violating labor laws. Last December, the New York AG’s office was able to have 25 Domino’s Pizza workers reinstated after they were fired for speaking against alleged labor abuses.

The announcement of the settlement comes as fast-food union organizers continue their campaign to build public support for higher wages across the country.

Article:  New York McDonald’s Owner to Pay $500,000 to Settle Worker Claims -Reuters

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About Janet Sparks

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Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at or at 303-799-7398.