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Striking McDonald&#x27;s worker Bartolome Perez, 42, (L) protests outside McDonald&#x27;s on Hollywood Boulevard as part of a nationwide strike by fast-food workers to call for wages of $15 an hour, in Los Angeles, California August 29, 2013. Fast-food workers staged strikes at McDonald&#x27;s and Burger Kings and demonstrated at other stores in sixty U.S. cities on Thursday in their latest action in a nearly year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS FOOD BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTX130VM
Workers at seven New York City McDonald's franchises will split a nearly $500,000 wage theft settlement, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced:
The attorney general's labor bureau found that cashiers regularly performed off-the-clock work before and after their shifts at the Manhattan restaurants owned by Richard Cisneros. 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.

The settlement money will go to more than 1,600 current and former McDonald's employees.

Workers in three states, including New York, filed wage theft lawsuits against McDonald's and various franchise owners last week. New York City fast food workers are getting an additional boost in the fight to get the pay they're legally owed; Tuesday, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James announced:
... a four-part proposal to tackle alleged rampant wage theft in the fast food industry: Creation of an anonymous whistleblower hotline for workers to report wage theft; expansion of city agencies’ authority to investigate wage theft; convening of City Council hearings at which McDonald’s’ CEO and franchisees would be invited and then questioned by councilmembers; and urgings that the McDonald’s Corporation amend its franchisee agreements to create a mechanism to punish those that don’t follow the law.
The scale of wage theft routinely reported by fast food workers is staggering, especially when you consider that they're paid poverty wages legally, before the illegal means of reducing their pay begin. We have to be clear: This is business owners and managers breaking the law and taking what their workers are legally owed. It's theft, and should be treated as such.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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