According to a decision by the National Labor Relations Board, McDonald’s Corporation is considered to be a joint-employer along with the thousands of its franchisees throughout the nation. Workers in many states, including New York, have been lobbying for improvements in wages in recent years. Strikes have been staged in a call for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and workers have also sought a right to unionize. Meanwhile, retaliation claims have been significant as well.
According to the NLRB, there have been nearly 200 complaints against the fast food company since 2012. The company claims that it is not responsible for working conditions in restaurants, but the NLRB decision indicates that McDonald’s is the main boss in these settings, holding extensive influence over the operational activities of its franchisees. NLRB representatives indicate that retaliatory actions have included firings, discrimination in disciplinary measures, reduced work hours and additional coercive actions toward individuals who have been involved in protected actions such as attempting to unionize.
An official with the National Retail Federation addressed the NLRB decision as confusing, noting that it conflicts with actual conditions. Those critical of the NLRB allege that the organization is political in such decisions. McDonald’s intends to contest the designation. The NLRB expects to hold hearings in March related to possible disciplinary measures against the corporation.
The National Labor Relations Act establishes certain rights for those seeking to unionize, and employees are protected when they engage in concerted activities as two or more individuals take specific actions to address the conditions of their employment. An individual who suffers retaliation for participating in a demonstration related to seeking improved conditions may want to register a complaint with the NLRB. Additionally, legal support may be helpful in seeking redress for such actions.
Source: ABC , “McDonald’s Violated Worker Rights, National Labor Relations Board Says”, December 20, 2014