McDonalds may be liable for worker lawsuits


#1

money.cnn.com/2014/07/29/news/companies/mcdonalds-nlrb/

A good ruling to protect more workers from unethical business practices and poor pay.


#2

No Mickey Dee’s employee should be forced to work under slave conditions. The Federal Government should protect these workers’ rights under the 13th Amendment.

How? By allowing them to quit and finding themselves better paying jobs where they are given the respect they deserve as human beings. I agree that if McDonalds is holding these people hostage, they should be stopped.


#3

Finding better employment may be simple for you but it isn’t that simple for millions of Americans.


#4

And the solution is to make it more expensive to employ people?


#5

It isn’t that simple for me. I had my pay cut by 20% 5 months ago, I haven’t found another job that will pay what I am supposed to get (for my education, skills, and experience) yet. The bills are piling up.

But that’s my problem, not the government’s.

Frankly, with the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, I’m glad to have a job at all. It is getting increasingly desperate out there. I know that God will provide for my family, but I’m honestly having a hard time not getting very worried.


#6

After reading this artical, it sounds like the issue is more then just paying minimum wage. The lawsuits in question are regarding franchise owners withholding pay that the employees already worked for, or forcing them to work off the clock in order to keep their jobs. This is illegal and it isn’t reasonable to tell the workers to find someone else to work for when the company is clearly breaking the law.


#7

“By allowing them to quit?” I saw nothing in the article - which was itself based on a self-serving news release by a law firm that stands to make millions and millions on yet another class action suit - that alleges McDonald’s isn’t allowing its workers to resign and is holding them against their will.


#8

Well, if they aren’t using involuntary servitude and they aren’t hiring people under the table (for the purpose of tax evasion), then I’m afraid I can’t understand why the government would be involved with this.

If people don’t like where they work, they should find someplace else to work. Or not work at all, if it’s bad enough.


#9

It’s employment at this level that always gets me. There are a couple of hard facts in play. We have one of the largest income disparities in the developed world. Many of the non-college, middle income jobs have disappeared and are declining. Employers like Walmart, McDonalds, etc. have gone from being sources of casual employment (e.g. people looking for extra family income or teenagers) to the primary employers many families rely on for their roof, transportation, and food.

Here’s the thing and it’s really not a political statement. Either we need new ways to employ the less educated working poor, we make the jobs that do exist pay a bit better, or government support. In the end society needs to support every person in it or it WILL collapse, there are plenty of examples of this in history. We can do this through employment that actually pays a living wage, but innovation will be required and likely our stuff will become more expensive. We can do it through government, but too much can create generational dependence… Or we can let the trend continue and face the large social consequences.

My best guess is the solution requires a combination of tax reform that addresses issues where large corporations and extremely rich individuals benefit disproportionately. Addressing dependency issues caused by government support, e.g. reining in the growth of government support of programs like disability that people rarely move off of. Move some of that support to more tax incentives to the poor, meaning the support is attached to employment. Raise the minimum wage, but not to $15 like some want. And the most tricky one, which is to move government policy away from supporting large established businesses, to the smaller and medium employers. Things like oil subsidies and the farm bill are just the starting point there.

I’m sure some people will find issue with one or more things on this list, but the reality is that the vision pushed by both “sides” doesn’t address reality very well IMHO. I’m also certain there are ideas along the lines of the above that also would be a good idea. I put out what I could think of off the top of my head as an example.


#10

Fast Food Restaurants are giving people a lot of jobs. Our city buckled down on making sure any worker at these places has proper identification to work there and people have been flocking to these jobs.


#11

=PJH_74;12215375]It’s employment at this level that always gets me. There’s a couple of hard facts in play. **We have one of the largest income disparities in the developed world. ** Many of the non-college, middle income jobs have disappeared and are declining. Employers like Walmart, McDonalds, etc. have gone from being sources of casual employment (e.g. people looking for extra family income or teenagers) to the primary employers many families rely on for their roof, transportation, and food.

So what? That fact the Superintendent of the North Carolina Schools gets paid a lot more than I do as a teacher is understood. The fact that the CEO of McDonalds gets paid a whole lot more than the person taking one’s order should be not only expected, but frankly nobody’s business, other than the owners of the corporation.
That working the counter at McDonald’s has, for some, become the main source of income does not change the dynamics of productivity and pay. The fact is the person taking orders is not paid a great deal because the level of training, education, and the amount of productivity do not translate into higher pay. The availability of individuals trained to do a job, and the productivity connected to that job determines how well a person is paid.

Here’s the thing and it’s really not a political statement. Either we need new ways to employ the less educated working poor, we make the jobs that do exist pay a bit better, or government support. In the end society needs to support every person in it or it WILL collapse, there are plenty of examples of this in history. We can do this through employment that actually pays a living wage, but innovation will e required and like our stuff will become more expensive. We can do it through government, but to much can create generational dependence… Or we can let the trend continue and face the large social consequences.

Actually, it is a political statement because it only involves government action, either imposed on employers, or imposed on taxpayers.
One of the reasons those jobs have disappeared has to do with the high levels of taxation, particularly corporate income tax. Taxation drives companies out - out of states, out of the country. That’s political.
When you say “we make the jobs that do exist pay a bit better”, that’s political, unless my assumption that you mean government coercion by the words “we make” is wrong.

What has changed in the last 30 years? Why is this employment issue such a problem now? Simple. Government. The more government interferes in the free market, the worse it becomes for people.

My best guess is the solution requires a combination of tax reform that addresses issues where large corporations and extremely rich individual benefit disproportionately.

Here’s how the rich have benefited. They’ve benefited from the Fed’s cheap money policies. That’s why the wealthy continue to get wealthier. That’s why the stock market continues to soar while unemployment and underemployment continue to destroy lives.

Addressing dependency issues caused by government support, e.g. reining in the growth of government support of programs like disability that people rarely move off of. Move some of that support to more tax incentives to the poor, meaning the support is attached to employment. Raise the minimum wage, but not to $15 like some want. And the most tricky one which is to move government policy away from supporting large established businesses, to the smaller and medium employers. Things like oil subsidies and the farm bill are just the starting point there.

All of these are political. Maybe the government should just get out of crony capitalism all together, instead of moving from big companies to medium ones. Maybe they should get out of the business of picking winners and losers. Let’s face it, the current regime has done a particularly lousy job in this regard. Instead of choosing who gets tax breaks, do away with income tax all together, thereby letting businesses and corporations survive or die based on the market forces.

Jon


#12

Actually, claiming that all of this is due to government is both rabidly political, and simplistic.

When studying the effects of any long term unemployment and industry shift, one has to take into account globalization. Many industries are now in other states. Particularly China. The US of A is no longer an industrial powerhouse. We as a state barely manufacture half of what we used to. Add in the fact that many factories are replacing their workers with robots, and I think it is clear.

With the advance of new technologies some jobs and ways of life will dry up and blow away. This does not mean that government bail-outs of bloated corporations and low interest rates are in any way free of blame, but they don’t take the onus. What should be held as the primary blame for the economic woes of the US is greed. Greed by government tax-barons, greed by corporation CEOs. greed as shown by people trying to make a buck in housing (causing a collapse).


#13

=Hobbes42;12215580]Actually, claiming that all of this is due to government is both rabidly political, and simplistic.

It is no more simplistic than to say, hey, we should raise the minimum wage, or businesses should be required to pay a “living wage”, or there is a large income desparty in America.

When studying the effects of any long term unemployment and industry shift, **one has to take into account globalization. ** Many industries are now in other states. Particularly China. The US of A is no longer an industrial powerhouse. We as a state barely manufacture half of what we used to. Add in the fact that many factories are replacing their workers with robots, and I think it is clear.

Indeed we must, particularly in regards to corporate taxation. The US could be, again, an industrial powerhouse. We could, again, be an energy producing powerhouse. It is not simplistic to say that government interference plays a significant role in why we are not currently.

With the advance of new technologies some jobs and ways of life will dry up and blow away. This does not mean that government bail-outs of bloated corporations and low interest rates are in any way free of blame, but they don’t take the onus. What should be held as the primary blame for the economic woes of the US is greed. Greed by government tax-barons, greed by corporation CEOs. greed as shown by people trying to make a buck in housing (causing a collapse).

No doubt. Keep in mind that the greatest example of greed is that of elected politicians and bureaucrats who grow and maintain government power and therefore revenue.

Jon


#14

The level of pay is not an issue in the lawsuits. There is nothing illegal about paying minimum wage, so that would not be the basis for a lawsuit. On the other hand, if the franchisees did what was alleged: forcing people to work off the clock and making them fudge time sheets, then the franchisees deserve to get sued. Nobody can dispute that those things are wrong.


#15

Well, you can thank the federal government and the Federal Reserve for that.


#16

Whether or not the government should get involved, their alleged conduct is morally reprehensible. Economic freedom may give you a pass to treat employees like cattle, but it also allows those of us with a conscience to take our business elsewhere.


#17

This type of behavior is not restricted to McDonalds though. When I was a student worker in college we had an expo every year that resulted in most of us student workers who were janitors working overtime. The problem was, there was some regulation that prevented us from getting paid overtime, so our boss had us re-arrange our time sheets to put some of the hours on the following week. One guy refused and he threatened to go to the labor board and supposedly he did get his overtime. So even government managers cheat when it is convenient.


#18

:clapping:

That’s the correct approach. The proper approach does not in a corrupt manner use the power of government in this way. But you can organize consumers to influence business. That’s how the marketplace is supposed to work.

And considering the corruption recently by the current regime concerning the NLRB, I think it was very good of you to use the term “alleged conduct”. :thumbsup:

Jon


#19

Indeed, we’re still smarting from Greenspan’s policies, and coupled with that of Bernanke’s and now Yellen’s, inflation will soon be rearing its ugly head, if it hasn’t already but buried in some falsified CPI numbers.


#20

The Fed will never let inflation rear its ugly head, that is the only thing they care about.


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