Employees who were furloughed in 2020 by a McDonald’s franchise, were recently given back their jobs. However, Mitchell Enterprises, the franchise that runs many outlets did not call back four employees, who were active union supporters and had participated in a public union campaign before the pandemic struck in 2020.
These workers had the support of Service Employees International Union 32BJ, which helps employees organize themselves. Three of the workers also filed a lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court under a state law that requires employers to re-hire those who were laid off during the pandemic before making a move to replace them.
This is a clear message to employers who used the pandemic as an excuse to clear their workforce of union activists.
The judge representing the National Labour Relations Board Administrative Law maintained that it was illegal termination of workers. Not only did she order that they be reinstated but even asked them to be paid back pay.
Recently, Steve Easterbrook, former CEO of McDonald’s made headlines when he returned equity awards and cash to the tune of about $105 million. Easterbrook had, during his tenure, been involved in relationships with some junior women employees of the Company, in violation of McDonald’s policy. Easterbrook had been fighting a lawsuit with the Company for about a year now. Since it was proved that he had spoken lies about his sexual escapades with the said employees, the 59-year old former CEO was ordered to return the hefty severance package that was given to him when he was fired last year.