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Friday, May 31, 2019

Would you like fries in your face?

National Employment Law Project

In January, a 16-year-old working the drive-thru window of a McDonald’s in Camden, South Carolina had hot coffee thrown in her face by a customer who was angry about waiting too long for an order of fries.

That same month, a customer in Phoenix, Arizona threatened a McDonald’s employee with a shotgun when he did not receive hot sauce with his order. 

In April, a 19-year-old McDonald’s worker in Des Moines stepped out for a break and was stabbed by two customers angry over an $11 order.

In the last three years, more than 700 incidents of workplace violence at McDonald’s restaurants were reported by the news media. They are just the tip of the iceberg.

Not surprisingly, the late shift is the most dangerous to workers.
NELP’s latest report, Behind the Arches: How McDonald’s Fails to Protect Workers from Workplace Violence, uncovers an epidemic of workplace violence at McDonald’s restaurants around the country: Shootings, robberies, physical and verbal altercations, and brandishing of weapons—many resulting in worker and customer injuries.

“Workplace violence is clearly a very common and real hazard at McDonald’s throughout the nation,” NELP’s Debbie Berkowitz, author of the report and a former OSHA chief of staff, told Bloomberg News. “It’s stunning that a company of this size, with their resources, has not stepped forward to protect workers.”

The problem is so urgent that McDonald’s workers in Chicago who are part of the Fight for $15 and a Union sent a letter to federal workplace safety officials today urging them to take action to force McDonald’s to live up to its legal duty to provide a safe workplace for its workers. 

The letter follows an OSHA complaint filed on Monday by workers at a McDonald’s on Chicago’s South Side that has been the site of at least 30 violent incidents in recent months.

Workers are taking these actions as dozens of women file sexual harassment complaints against the company and cashiers and cooks prepare for a nationwide strike Thursday to demand $15 and a union.

Vox, May 1