November 01, 2016

McDonald's has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a federal lawsuit that sought to hold the company liable for allegations that a franchise owner in the San Francisco Bay Area cheated hundreds of workers out of wages and overtime.

The lawsuit filed in 2014 in federal court in San Francisco is among several suits in recent years that have sought a court order designating McDonald's as the joint employer of workers at its franchise restaurants. Franchised locations account for the vast majority of McDonald's more than 14,000 U.S restaurants. Joint-employer status would make the company, not just the franchise owners, responsible for working conditions at restaurants.

Joseph M. Sellers, Chair of Cohen Milstein's Civil Rights & Employment practice and counsel for the McDonald's workers, called the $3.75 million settlement “historic” because it marked the first time that McDonald’s committed to paying workers for labor violations in a franchisee-operated store. Mr. Sellers said more than 800 workers will benefit from the settlement. 

The full article can be read here.