NLRB: McDonald’s Retaliation Against Workers Who Participated In Protests Violates Their Rights

McDonald’s and some of its franchisees retaliated against workers who participated in protests and other demonstrations over hours and working conditions, the National Labor Relations Board said today, in announcing several complaints it filed accusing the fast-food chain of violating workers’ rights with “discriminatory discipline.”

Regional offices of the NLRB filed 13 complaints today covering 78 specific charges, the organization said, though some of those complaints have been settled or to be found without merit since the investigation started in 2012.

And because the position of the NLRB is that McDonald’s HQ exerts such an influence over its franchisees that it should be treated as a joint employer alongside the franchisees, the chain is charged as a co-employer in addition to the franchise owners named in the complaints.

A spokeswoman for the company challenges that view, saying in a statement (via UPI) that McDonald’s is not, in fact, the employer of the workers involved, and that the charges “improperly and dramatically strike at the heart of the franchise system.”

“McDonald’s is disappointed with the board’s decision to overreach and move forward with these charges, and will contest the joint employer allegation as well as the unfair labor practice charges in the proper forums,” she said.

Among the charges: “discriminatory discipline, reductions in hours, discharges, and other coercive conduct directed at employees in response to union and protected concerted activity, including threats, surveillance, interrogations, promises of benefit, and overbroad restrictions on communicating with union representatives or with other employees about unions and the employees’ terms and conditions of employment.”

Three hearings have been scheduled in the eastern, midwestern and western regions of the United States for March, the NRLB says.

NLRB: McDonald’s and its franchisees violated employee rights [UPI.com]