Wage and hour laws called into question with McDonald's protests

Texas readers may be familiar with the nationwide protests by McDonald's employees claiming that the fast food chain violated wage and hour laws. The protests have shifted to claiming that the restaurant has denied workers earned wages from overtime. If these claims are true, the popular hamburger restaurant would be considered in violation of wage and hour laws.

The protests have been organized by union leaders who wish to force the chain to offer employees $15 per hour. While it is not clear if any of these protests have been organized in Texas, it could still affect local employees. In addition to the push for higher wages, protest organizers and employees have stated that the company has "stolen" wages from employees.

These wage theft accusations stem from overtime for which employees say they have not been paid. Some of the specific issues cited include the fact that the chain charged them to pay for their own uniforms and instances where they show up to work but are not allowed to clock in until a certain time. It is not clear how wide-spread these complaints are, but McDonald's did release a statement claiming that they would look into all complaints listed.

Wage and hour laws are designed to protect the employee and provide an avenue for legal action if employee rights are violated. If any McDonald's employee feels that he or she is a victim of an injustice, it may be worthwhile to consider seeking compensation. Minimum wage employees have certain rights which are protected by law and should be recognized by all employers.

Source: Quincy Herald-Whig, Fast-food protests shift focus to 'wage theft', Candice Choi, March 18, 2014