World News – UA – Union investigates class action lawsuit against McDonald’s for failing to grant breaks


At least 250,000 current and former employees of fast food giant McDonald’s have been denied 10-minute breaks to which they were legally entitled, the fast food workers union has demanded, by launching a campaign for employees to come forward to join a possible class action suit

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) has partnered with Shine Lawyers to investigate the potentially ‘systematic’ denial of break rights at McDonald’s stores across Australia since september 2014

Josh Cullinan, the secretary of the RAFFWU, said the clause setting out rights to breaks « couldn’t be clearer » and that there was not much hope to argue that the breaks were refused « by accident »

He said hundreds of workers have already registered with the union and it is hoped the class action lawsuit investigation will spur thousands more to come forward

« We are convinced that the number of workers exceeds 250,000 », said M Cullinan, adding that this estimate is based on the fact that McDonald’s has 100,000 employees across Australia, a turnover of 40% and an average tenure of 16 years

One of the workers affected is Darcy Dunlop, 22, who started working at McDonald’s in Erina on the central coast of New South Wales at the age of 16 and eventually became a sector manager

M Dunlop said he found it was « made clear » in his agreement that he was supposed to be given 10-minute breaks, but when he tried to claim that right he « laughed a lot »

After approaching the union in 2018, he lobbied for breaks to be granted in his store, but this « did not take hold » and he was only appeased during his shift, a he declared

M Dunlop left McDonald’s in 2019 and says he wants his colleagues who were « unfairly and unfairly treated » to be compensated

« As this is a young class of workers, they are not quite familiar with these breaks, » said M Dunlop « We are legally allowed to do this »

Vicky Antzoulatos, leader of class actions at Shine Lawyers, said the class action investigation was still ongoing, but violations would be « systematic across the McDonald’s network across Australia », both in franchises and head office owned stores

Ms Antzoulatos said staff were entitled to a 10-minute break for shifts of 4 hours and over, and two paid breaks for shifts of 9 hours and over, which are not granted

James Rickards, director of corporate relations at McDonald’s Australia, said the company « has yet to receive notification of the proposed class action lawsuit and is unable to comment on the veracity » of the allegations

« We continue to work closely with our restaurants to ensure that employees receive all of the appropriate rights and wages in the workplace, » said M Rickards

« We remain committed to working with our employees and franchisees to ensure all concerns are addressed

« A dedicated employee helpline is available to all McDonald’s employees who may have questions regarding their terms of employment »

Ms Antzoulatos said any claims would be brought under the fair labor law, with the case potentially asking for the value of breaks, allowances and penalties paid

« Employees might think that because they are drinking water, it is complying with this particular provision of the company bargaining agreement. It is not, » Ms. Antzoulatos

M Cullinan said some workers will receive thousands of dollars, depending on how long they’ve worked for the fast food retailer, while the average worker could expect around $ 1,000 in any class action lawsuit.

« In our opinion, anyone reading the article should talk to the employees who have worked at McDonald’s for the past six years »

The class-action investigation follows a case in Federal Court in which a McDonald’s franchise in Queensland admitted it failed to give an employee her due breaks

M Rickards said this violation was « unintentional » and that the franchisee « has already implemented processes to ensure continued compliance »

McDonald’s, Class Action, Retail and Fast Food Restaurant Workers Union

Global News – UA – Union investigates class action lawsuit against McDonald’s for failing granted breaks



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