As the battle over fast food wage theft continues, it just seems to be getting uglier and uglier. But a potential bombshell no one seems to be covering surfaced this week: multiple McDonald's managers have now admitted to stealing employees' wages frequently and over a period of years.
The admission comes on the heels of a survey that finds that out of 1,088 surveyed, 89% of fast food employees at McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's say they have, at least once, been forced to work off the clock, been denied breaks, or been refused or manipulated out of overtime pay. Jesus, 89%? If any given organization has more than five people, you can't even get 89% of them to agree with the survey question "are puppies adorable?"
Before now, we only had the word of employees, rather than people in positions of power actually admitting to these sorts of abuses. Not so anymore. Here's one veteran manager on McDonald's shady-as-everloving-shit practices:
"My GM was sitting at the office desk and notified me and four other managers that there was a crew member that went over 40 hours," recalls Lakia Williams, a six year veteran managing three different stores. "She was going to take the rest of those hours and put them on the following pay period." Other examples of theft include denying employees breaks—while docking them the time anyway—forcing employees to clock out but continue working and making employees work off the clock before and after their scheduled times.
The full video is even more damning, with another manager alleging that employees never get breaks, although they certainly get break times docked from their pay. I really shouldn't even be using the word alleging here — even working in higher-end restaurants than McDonald's, you frequently work more than eight hours straight without a break.
The video also makes clear that teenage employees weren't the ones being targeted by these practices — far more commonly, it was "30-to-40 something mothers working multiple jobs at the time [because] they couldn't get a full-time work status." It's difficult to find a way to justify this sort of thing, though I'm sure there are hyper-capitalist asshats who will try. Keep up that myth of service-sector workers only being there because of laziness or incompetence, classist assholes. I'd say no one's buying it, but the unfathomably depressing fact is that plenty of people ARE buying it, and that makes me more embarrassed of humanity than does Robin Thicke's continued popularity.
Image via jongjet303/Shutterstock.