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NYC public advocate supports Fast-food workers fight for fair pay
Seven lawsuits, some requesting class-action status, were filed in California, Michigan and New York. They allege that thousands of McDonald’s workers had their pay pushed below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour through a variety of practices.
Some workers were simply not paid for all the time they worked, the complaints alleged, while some had wages docked to pay for their uniforms and some were made to wait, unpaid, for several hours until being allowed to clock in when restaurants became busier.
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s said at the time that the firm was “committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations”.
Now the New York City public advocate, Tish James says that her office would be proposing new legislation to establish a whistleblower phone line for fast-food workers to anonymously report allegations of illegal or unjust pay practices by their bosses and to give city authorities greater powers to investigate what she and union campaigners call “wage theft”.
She told a demonstration outside a McDonald’s restaurant in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon that she was supporting the measures in order to protect “workers who are being victimised by major corporations who are making billions off their hard work” both in New York and across the US.
“It’s hard enough for low-wage workers to survive in this economy,” said James. “It’s practically impossible to do so when wages are being stolen.”
James, whose office carries limited power, said that she expected the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are in conversations with the mayor, I’m confident that the mayor is going to be supporting this package of legislation”.
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