Archive for Workers Compensation

California McDonald’s Workers Awarded $26 Million Settlement Over Lost Wages and Working Conditions

After a seven-year battle 38,000, McDonald’s workers have been awarded $26 million by a Los Angeles County Superior Court. The court ruled against McDonald’s Restaurants of California Inc. over an array of claims, including failure to pay minimum and overtime wages and inadequate rest and meal breaks.

The lawsuit focused on corporate-owned McDonald’s that used a timekeeping system designed to bar workers from rest breaks, cheat them out of earned overtime, and have to pay out-of-pocket for cleaning and ironing their uniforms.

Once approved by the judge, this will mark the largest wage settlement ever against the Chicago-based fast-food giant. McDonald’s has been a target of labor organizers for years.

But that isn’t the only problem the home of the Big Mac faces.

On November 12, the American Civil Liberties Union sued McDonald’s on behalf of Michigan workers who claim sexual harassment has gone unchecked in its restaurants.

Adding to its legal woes, a group of Chicago-area workers sued McDonald’s on November 21 over a redesign in their stores that made them vulnerable to attacks by angry customers.

Of the California lawsuit, a McDonald’s spokesperson said the restaurant chain takes its employees seriously and strives to treat its employees fairly. McDonald’s Corp offered a written statement saying:

While we continue to believe our employment practices comply with the California Labor Code, we have decided to resolve this lawsuit filed back in early 2013. With this settlement, the parties have reached a mutually acceptable resolution and have submitted the settlement to the Court for its review and approval.

The company also issued new options and rules that cover rest breaks and meal periods. Employees’ uniforms will also be provided at no cost when they become damaged or worn.

McDonald’s agreed, as a part of the settlement, to compensate employees with a one-hour wage premium on days they aren’t provided a timely rest or meal break. The company said it will allow workers to leave their store during meal breaks “without restrictions.” The company said it will also no longer require workers to take breaks at the beginning or end of shifts

NHL Predator’s Face Ice Injury Lawsuit

Eric Nystrom was a National Hockey League (NHL) player. As a college student, he played with the Michigan Wolverines hockey team. He was sought after in the 2002 NHL draft with a first-round pick of tenth overall. His father Bob Nystrom, who was born in Sweden and grew up in Alberta, played with the NHL New York Islanders that won four consecutive Stanley Cups.

In 2005, Nystrom turned professional and played with the Quad City Flames, a farm team of the Calgary Flames, an NHL franchise. Nystrom split the 2007-2008 season between the Quad City Flames and the Calgary Flames. Eric Nystrom went on with his NHL career and played with the Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators. Before the 2017-2018 NHL season, the Predators put Nystrom on waivers and bought out the last year of a four year contract with Nystrom. This action of the Predators against Nystrom effectively ended his NHL career.

Professional hockey is a very tough and somewhat violent sport. There is a high incidence of injuries in professional sports which are both popular and profitable. For instance, Professional sports in California in baseball, women and men’s basketball, hockey, and soccer have produced thousands of work injury claims.

Following Nystrom’ release from the Predators, he sought financial relief for three injuries he suffered playing professional hockey. Nystrom claimed that he suffered from ” permanent partial ” injuries to his hip and leg, on Sept. 3, 2013; a concussion on Nov. 15, 2013; and a back injury on Jan. 12, 2014.

Hockey is as prone to severe injuries like football, and it has been reported that hockey players suffer brain injuries from concussions. The Canadian Medical Journal found that between 1997 to 2004 five hundred fifty-nine concussions were reported in hockey players. The symptoms of a brain injury range from dizziness to blurred vision.

In Tennessee, work injury claims, are subject to provisions of the Workers Compensation Act. Nystrom is seeking a lifetime of medical payments and further economic relief. Not all states recognize that sports injuries are covered under Worker Compensation legislation. In response to Nystrom’s lawsuit, the Predators denied all the allegations in his suit, claimed that it had no knowledge of the injuries, Nystrom was not permanently disabled and the Predators never authorized medical treatment to him.