Labor Board Puts Consolidated Complaint against McDonald’s, USA & Its Franchisee

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued complaints alleging labor law violations against McDonald’s USA and several of its franchisees, naming them as a “joint employer” in the regional offices of Manhattan, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Los Angeles. This might be a win-win initiation for workers at fast-food chains. The NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin filed 13 complaints involving 78 charges against the company and its franchisees. The cases, which date as far back as November 2012, when fast food workers in New York participated in the first strike against the fast food industry, allege that McDonald’s USA and some of its franchisees violated the rights of employees working at McDonald’s restaurants at various locations around the country.

The complaint majorly claims that the few franchisee (joint owners) illegally fired or intimidated workers for taking action or making statements aimed at improving their wages and working conditions, including participating in nationwide protests. Specifically, the NLRB alleges that McDonald’s USA and McDonald’s franchisees engaged in “discriminatory discipline, reductions in hours, discharges, and other coercive conduct directed at employees in response to union and protected concerted activity, including threats, surveillance, interrogations, promises of benefit, and overbroad restrictions on communicating with union representatives or with other employees about unions and the employees’ terms and conditions of employment.”

In the interest of conserving public and private resources and to avoid unnecessary delay, NLRB said if the “allegations cannot be resolved through settlement,” then the cases will come before an administrative law judge beginning on March 30, 2015, which can subsequently be appealed to the five-member NLRB.

The hearing will begin in Region 2 – Manhattan, where the allegations in the complaints of Region 2 and Region 4 (Philadelphia) will be addressed, further moving to Region 13 – Chicago to address allegations in the complaints of Region 13 and Region 25 (Indianapolis), and will conclude in Region 31 – Los Angeles to address allegations in the complaints of Regions 20 (San Francisco) and 31. As anticipated, hearings involving the allegations in the complaints issued by the other seven Regional offices will be scheduled after the initial litigation.

To this, McDonald’s spokeswomen Lisa McComb, said that the company and franchises would fight the charges and she continues to say, “These allegations are driven in large part by a two-year, union-financed campaign that has targeted the McDonald’s brand and impacted McDonald’s restaurants.”


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