A group of McDonald’s employees in Chicago have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the fast-food chain failed to take adequate safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to reports, the lawsuit was filed by five McDonald’s workers and four of their family members in Cook County, Illinois. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status.
The plaintiffs alleged that McDonald’s and its franchise restaurants failed to provide workers enough gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer to protect themselves from the coronavirus. McDonald’s managers allegedly told workers to reuse masks and gloves.
The workers also said in the lawsuit that they have not received training on how to protect themselves or customers, and are being forced to work “in close proximity” to potentially infected customers and co-workers. Crowded kitchens make it nearly impossible to practice social distancing, according to the lawsuit.
The suit asks the court to issue an injunction that would force McDonald’s to supply workers with adequate personal protective equipment and provide hand sanitizer to workers as well as customers.
The plaintiffs are also asking the court order McDonald’s to implement policies that require all employees and customers to wear face coverings, and mandate that the company inform employees when a colleague contracts the virus.
The new lawsuit is backed by the Service Employees International Union or SEIU, which supports the “Fight for $15 and a Union” campaign.
In response to the lawsuit, McDonald’s said it disagreed with the characterizations being made against it. The company added that the safety and well-being of its crew and managers is a top priority that guides its decision making.
In April, McDonald’s had said it distributed about 100 million face masks to its employees across the U.S. and updated nearly 50 safety procedures in accordance with guidance from the CDC as well as state and local health experts.
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