Fast Food Employees Rally Over Wages

Are you a fast-food worker? Did you participate in the protests that took place last week nationally over low wages? Photo of earnings statement

Organizers with several unions and labor organizations mobilized fast-food workers last week, as part of an effort calling for a $15 hourly wage. The rallies took place in cities throughout California, including San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that organizers said the protests were the “most widespread mobilization ever by U.S. workers seeking higher pay.” In San Jose, about 150 workers gathered at a McDonald’s, then marched through the city chanting, “What do we want? $15. When do we want it? Now.”

One of the workers involved in the San Jose rally spoke to the newspaper about her job at an Arby’s, where she makes $11 per hour as a shift manager. Miriam Andrade, 31, from Sunnyvale, a mother of three, said that she needed “better wages and a better life.”

The rallies among low wage earners occurring recently seem to be paying off. The Mercury News reported that more than a dozen states and multiple cities raised their minimum wages last year.

Discussing Wage Theft with an Attorney

While these demonstrations were aimed at employees receiving greater wages, over the past year, we have blogged several times about the injustices faced by many fast-food workers.

A poll last year conducted nationally among fast-food workers found that 60 percent said they had been required to perform tasks before clocking in or clocking out of work, while 46 percent said that they had not been paid for all hours worked or tasks that they performed.

These practices are immoral and illegal. Employers are not allowed to dock wages below federal, state or local minimum wage guidelines by working employees off the clock. Due to allegations of wage and overtime theft, several lawsuits have been filed against restaurants including McDonalds, Subway, Dominos and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Remember, if you perform any tasks while not being paid, your employer may be violating labor laws. If you feel like your employer is violating the law, it may be in your best interest to speak to an employment attorney.

Keep following our blog for California labor news.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys