March 18 The owner of seven franchised
McDonald's restaurants in Manhattan agreed to pay almost
$500,000 to workers who were required to work "off the clock"
and were subject to other practices that violated state labor
laws, New York state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, said
The settlement is the second from an ongoing New York
investigation into alleged labor law violations at numerous
fast-food chains and comes a week after McDonald's workers in
three U.S. states sued the world's biggest restaurant company
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.
Schneiderman said the settlement with McDonald's Corp
New York City franchisee Richard Cisneros included
damages and interest and will benefit more than 1,600 workers.
"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 New York attorney general's investigation found that
from 2007 through mid 2013, Cisneros's restaurants at times
required some of their 700 cashiers to work "off-the-clock," or
without pay, before or after their shifts. Some cashiers also
were required to use their own money to cover cash register
Other violations included failure to give employees an extra
hour of pay at minimum wage when they worked more than 10 hours
in a day, as mandated by state law.
The restaurant operator also failed to either launder or to
pay for the cost of cleaning employees uniforms, as required
under New York state law.
In December, New York's attorney general got 25 workers at a
New York City Domino's Pizza Inc franchise reinstated
after they were fired for speaking against alleged labor abuses.