Compliance Actions Employers Must Know About McDonald’s Class Action Lawsuit

3 Dec

CA McDonalds Wage-19
An estimated 38,000 McDonald’s California cooks and cashiers won a $26 million settlement in a class-action suit alleging they were not paid overtime wages at corporate-run stores. The settlement also claims workers were denied access to full meal breaks and rest periods when the restaurants were busy and had to clean and iron their own uniforms without reimbursement.
Important Lessons for all California Employers Based on This Case:
To Comply with California Law By:
  • Creating a mechanism for paying the one-hour wage premium to every worker each day when an employer fails to provide them a timely full-meal period or rest break
  • Allowing employees to leave the workplace during their meal periods without restriction or threat of discipline
  • Maintaining detailed electronic time records that accurately track the time and duration of each meal period and rest break; (note this includes rest breaks which are normally not recorded – along with meal period time off) Do not use automatically recorded breaks – use actual time.)
  • Schedule rest breaks as close to the mid-point of the first 4 hours of work as possible. No longer making workers take rest breaks as soon as their shift starts or ends out of convenience to the store, rather than the worker. California law dictates the break should be as close to the mid-point as possible  (rest breaks and meal periods need to be scheduled by the supervisor- not allow “when the employee chooses or wishes.)
  • Provide training to managers and employees about the changes agreed to in the settlement. (A key as many managers and supervisors do not know company policy or the law regarding meal periods and rest breaks.)
The settlement is the highest ever against McDonald’s over wage theft in the U.S. and comes after nearly seven years of litigation in trial and appellate courts and extended settlement negotiations.
CalWorkSafety helps you review your compliance with rest breaks and meal periods to avoid the penalty of 1-hour of pay each day when rest breaks and meals are not allowed on a timely basis:
  1. Rest break for every 4 hours or major portion thereof
  2. Meal period of 30 minutes no later than the end of the 5th hour of work
  3. Do not combine rest breaks and meal periods

If you have questions about this important new regulation Contact CalWorkSafety and speak with one of our consultants about your questions or concerns.

CalWorkSafety Helps companies prepare for Cal/OSHA
compliance, training, inspections, citations or written plans.
Contact us today and speak to one of our Consultants:
Call: 949-533-3742 or email:

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