Wisconsin residents may be following the actions of fast-food workers to call attention to their on-going wage struggles. In the past, courts have dismissed cases against franchisors so quickly that the plaintiffs have not had time to gather evidence during a discovery process. Recent litigation against McDonald's Corporation is different. The plaintiffs secured evidence before they filed wage lawsuits in three different states. The allegations have yet to be proven in court, but they got the attention of the company enough for it to acknowledge that it will initiate their own investigation.
Allegations in the wage theft lawsuits include on-going McDonald's involvement with the franchisees. One point of monitoring is corporate-required software that allows restaurant managers to remove time from an employee's time sheet. This data is available to the corporation on at least a daily basis. Another is the corporate-maintained website that scores potential employees before their information is forwarded to local franchisees.
The lawsuits contain a list of allegations against McDonalds, and the plaintiffs hope to break down the wall that has protected the corporation from employee issues. Whether employed by a small business or a global giant, every worker is entitled to certain employee rights under federal and state laws. Sometimes it takes the action of filing a lawsuit to get attention directed at unfair and illegal wage practices so they can be corrected.
Source: MSNBC, "Inside low-wage workers’ plan to sue McDonald’s — and win", Timothy Noah, March 18, 2014