Authored by: Ollie Lammers
According to Law.com, McDonald’s has settled with some of the first cases brought against them by workers for unsafe COVID-19 working environments.
The company has settled two cases, one from Chicago and one in Oakland, California. Both cases date back to the beginning of the pandemic.
The Chicago case alleges the company did not provide adequate COVID-19 protections in four of its locations. A judge issued a preliminary injunction against McDonald’s, a ruling cited by lawyers suing other companies for COVID-19 protections, similar to meat processor Smithfield Foods.
McDonald’s in Chicago did supply masks and hand sanitizer; they did not train their employees in any COVID-19 safety training. In the preliminary hearing for the Chicago case, the judge said the company not training employees on safety protocols was a “potential risk of harm to these plaintiffs and the community at large is severe.”
The Oakland, California case alleges the store forced workers to wear doggie diapers and coffee filters as masks instead of providing actual masks to employees.
An Oakland McDonald’s outbreak infected at least 25 workers and family members, including an infant, leading the workers to file the lawsuit and a strike.
The settlement included establishing a health and safety committee at the McDonald’s company. The committee will require stores to meet monthly with workers to discuss safety protocols, including disinfecting surfaces and equipment. The committee will also require stores to provide masks, gloves, maintain social distancing and contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 case.
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