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McDonald’s in $26 million settlement with California workers

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LOS ANGELES — McDonald’s has agreed to a $26 million settlement of a long-running class-action lawsuit over wages and work conditions at corporate-run locations in California, the parties said Monday.

The agreement, which estimates the settlement covers about 38,000 individuals, requires the approval of a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

The lawsuit filed nearly seven years ago against McDonald’s Restaurants of California Inc. made an array of claims including failure to pay minimum and overtime wages and to provide required meal and rest breaks.

One aspect involved overnight shifts that began on one day and ended the next day but had all hours attributed to the day the shift started, avoiding overtime payments.

Initially there was one plaintiff and eventually three others joined to represent the class of cooks and cashiers.

McDonald’s Corp. said in a statement that it takes its responsibility as an employer seriously and is committed to fair treatment of all employees.

“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,” the company said. “With this settlement, the parties have reached a mutually acceptable resolution and have submitted the settlement to the Court for its review and approval.”

Terms of the agreement include compensation for back wages, unpaid overnight overtime, meal and rest breaks that were missed, late or shortened and unreimbursed time and expenses for maintenance of uniforms, according to a plaintiffs’ memorandum to the court.

The settlement also requires periodic training for managers and crew members at corporate-owned restaurants.

A series of pragmatic terms require that crew members be told of rules and options covering meal periods and rest breaks, when they can’t be required to stay on-site, and that McDonald’s will provide uniforms without cost when work outfits become worn or damaged.

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