Seven N.Y. McDonald's franchises settle labor law allegations

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 20, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement worth close to $500,000 on Tuesday with seven Manhattan-based McDonald's restaurant franchises and their owner for allegedly violating labor laws.

The McDonald's franchises and their owner, Richard Cisneros, allegedly failed to pay legally-required laundry allowances for many employees, failed to compensate its employees for all their work time and made unlawful deductions from wages by making cashiers cover cash register shortfalls. Under the terms of the settlement, the franchises and Cisneros will pay close to $500,000 to more than 1,600 mostly minimum wage workers who were allegedly shortchanged.

"Like every other business in New York state, fast food employers must follow our labor laws," Schneiderman said. "Our lowest wage workers deserve the same protections of the law as everyone else. It's critical, for them and for their families as well as for our economy, that we remain vigilant so that no New Yorkers are cheated out of their hard won earnings."

In addition to paying restitution, the seven franchises must submit to monitoring of their labor law compliance. Cisneros' restaurants must also institute complaint procedures, train supervisors on the labor law, provide bilingual written handbooks to employees and post a statement of employee rights.

The settlement is the second to come out of inquiries into numerous fast food employers made by Schneiderman's Labor Bureau. In December, Schneiderman's office secured reinstatement for 25 workers at a Domino's pizza franchise in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood.

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