McDonald’s Accused of Stealing Wages From Already Underpaid Workers

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Fast food workers make very little money. How little money? Very little money! So little in fact that a single parent of one living in New York City would have to work 144 hours a week “to make a secure yet modest living.” But apparently, those wages are not low enough, a group of McDonald’s workers allege, to stop the company from also stealing from them.

Wage-theft suits brought against McDonald’s this week in Michigan, California, and New York accuse the chain of refusing to pay overtime, ordering people to work off the clock, and straight up erasing hours from timecards. If these allegations are true, and maybe they’re not, but maybe they are, then the company has been illegally screwing people who are already being legally screwed.

This is the most recent development in a months-long campaign by fast-food workers pushing for a $15/hour starting wage.

You shouldn’t eat fast food because fast food is bad for you but if you do eat fast food (and you will eat fast food at least once in a while because nobody can be perfect all the time), be nice to the people who serve you. They have to fight tooth and nail to make ends meet.

Could you make it on fast food wages? Here’s a depressing calculator. (Spoiler: Probably not!)
 

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  • Ben Dreyfuss is Mother Jones' editorial director for growth and strategy. He's done some other stuff, too. You can email him at bdreyfuss@motherjones.com. But you don't have to. But you can. But you really don't have to.