Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Community News Network

April 2, 2014

Former McDonald's store managers say they withheld employees' wages

CHICAGO — Two former McDonald's store managers, assisting with a campaign to raise pay for fast-food workers, said they helped withhold employees' wages at the restaurant chain after facing pressure to keep labor costs down.

The ex-managers, who came forward as part of an effort backed by worker advocacy group Fast Food Forward, said they engaged in tactics such as asking employees to continue working after they clocked out or adding unpaid breaks to time sheets. They took the steps to avoid exceeding a store's strict goals for wage expenses, said Lakia Williams, a former assistant manager at a McDonald's in Charleston, S.C..

"There was so much pressure," she said in an interview. "It's not only the franchisees group and the general managers, it is corporate. It's something internal, it's something deeper, and it's something that has been going on for years."

Williams said she would ask employees to work for an hour or two after they clocked out. She needed them to help clean up after a busy day and would usually give them $20 of her own money to compensate, Williams said. Kwanza Brooks, a manager who worked at McDonald's stores in North Carolina and Maryland, said she amended time sheets to keep labor costs down.

In response to the ex-managers' comments, McDonald's said it takes action to resolve pay concerns in its company-owned restaurants and trusts its franchisees to do the same.

"McDonald's and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald's restaurants," Heather Oldani, a spokeswoman for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company, said in an emailed statement. "Whether employed by McDonald's or by our independent owner-operators, employees should be paid correctly."

The new allegations follow a wave of lawsuits in March claiming that McDonald's workers were being idled without pay for minutes and hours at work during slow periods, in violation of U.S. and state labor laws. Some workers also allege that McDonald's requires them to pay for their uniforms, driving their pay below legal minimums. On the day the lawsuits were filed, McDonald's said it was reviewing the allegations and would take necessary actions.

Contact information for the two managers was provided by BerlinRosen, a public-relations firm that is managing the media effort for Fast Food Forward. The advocacy group, which has received funding from the Service Employees International Union, also commissioned a survey on fast-food wages as part of the campaign.

Williams and Brooks are just two former managers at a chain with 14,200 U.S. locations, and almost 90 percent of those restaurants are owned by franchisees, meaning McDonald's itself has less control over them.

"McDonald's and our owner-operators employ separately but in total over 750,000 workers in the United States, and we caution against drawing broad conclusions based on a small, random informal sampling," Oldani said in her statement.

Still, the problem of workers getting their wages squeezed is widespread, said Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While most costs are contractual, such as food expenses and rent, labor is one area that can and does get cut, he said.

"Wage theft is endemic in this whole retail, restaurant world," Lichtenstein said in an interview. "It's built into the system."

In the study commissioned by Fast Food Forward, about 89 percent of current and recent fast-food workers said they had their wages stolen. That included employees at McDonald's, Burger King Worldwide and Wendy's, the three largest U.S. burger chains. The survey, conducted by Washington-based Hart Research Associates, polled 1,088 people who had worked in fast food within the past three months.

Alix Salyers, a spokeswoman for Miami-based Burger King, said her company hasn't reviewed the survey. Moreover, Burger King doesn't make scheduling or wage decisions for its franchisees, who own and operate almost all of the company's restaurants, she said. Bob Bertini, a spokesman for Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's, declined to comment.

Outcry over fast-food pay has led thousands of restaurant workers to protest in cities across the U.S., demanding wages of $15 an hour and the right to form a union.

The U.S. federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and President Obama has asked Congress to raise that to $10.10. Some states require higher pay than the current national minimum. Fast-food workers in America make about $9 an hour, or $18,720 a year, if they work full time, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Williams, who made $8.50 an hour at McDonald's, said she quit in July 2012 after seeing her own wages get squeezed. She had to work off the clock about three or four hours a week, Williams said. The 30-year-old is now at Hardee's, where she earns $9.75 an hour and has more flexibility to go back to school to be a medical assistant. Brooks and Williams said they weren't paid by Fast Food Forward to speak out.

Brooks, 37, a former shift manager, worked at McDonald's restaurants in Charlotte, N.C., and Baltimore from 2000 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2012. During that time, she saw other managers withhold wages too, Brooks said.

"I didn't like the way the store was run," she said. "If you see things that are not right - I didn't want to deal with it anymore."



 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Poll

Would you be in favor of or opposed to housing at the closed CCA facility at Wolters Industrial Park some of the unaccompanied children who have crossed illegally into the U.S. and Texas?

In favor
Opposed
Not sure/undecided
Don't care
     View Results
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Must Read
Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide