A McDonald’s franchise owner will pay nearly $US500,000 to employees who claimed in a lawsuit that they were systematically underpaid, the Huffington Post is reporting.
The payment is part of a settlement reached between the franchisee, who owns seven McDonald’s restaurants, and the state of New York, according to Huffington. Roughly 1,600 current and former McDonald’s workers will receive payments.
“The attorney general’s labour bureau found that cashiers regularly performed off-the-clock work before and after their shifts at the Manhattan restaurants owned by Richard Cisneros,” Huffington’s Dave Jamieson reports. “Workers weren’t given an allowance for the time and costs associated with cleaning uniforms they had to wear, nor did they receive an extra hour of minimum-wage pay after shifts in which they worked 10 consecutive hours — requirements of New York law.”
McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said the company is “pleased” that the settlement was reached.
“A core value of McDonald’s is that we are committed to our people,” McComb said in an e-mailed statement to Business Insider. “That commitment means that we must pay our people correctly.”
In addition to the payments to workers, McComb said the franchisee has also agreed to appoint a compliance officer to make sure that employees are correctly compensated in the future.
McDonald’s is facing similar allegations of stolen pay in lawsuits filed in California and Michigan.
The lawsuits were announced on a conference call last week with organisers of the labour group that is fighting for higher wages for fast food workers. The group, which wants a $US15 minimum wage, has been organising worker strikes across the U.S. for the last two years.
The average fast food worker makes roughly $US9 an hour.
Since 1985, McDonald’s has been found in violation of the Fair Labour Standards Act and had to pay back wages more than 300 times, according to CNN.
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