To resolve a 2020 federal lawsuit that management handed workers dog diapers and coffee filters to wear as face masks, a McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) restaurant in Oakland, California, decided to accept and take efforts to safeguard employees against COVID-19. In an agreement released on Thursday, the franchise said it would give workers compensated sick leave, masks, and gloves, reinforce social distancing practices, sanitize premises and objects regularly, and compel staff with COVID-19 symptoms to stay at home and recover.
The McDonald’s franchise also plans on creating a workplace safety committee, which will require the business owner and the management to interact with the staff at regular intervals to discuss methods to keep the workers safe and inclusive. The safety committee, according to Union, a labor organizing unit participating in the dispute, is the first of its type and promises to serve as a central pillar for giving employees more power.
The McDonald’s franchise denied the accusations, and it was unclear if the deal would involve monetary compensation. The agreement comes from the emergence of the highly infectious Delta strain, which has resulted in an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States. An increasing number of businesses are mandating or contemplating forcing staff to get vaccinated at the earliest. On Wednesday, McDonald’s announced that its staff members in the United States would be required to be fully vaccinated soon.
In a release, the Oakland franchise’s operator, Michael Smith, said that the respective branch began executing the settlement’s provisions more than a year ago. As reported by Reuters, Smith said, “We’ll keep taking all essential precautions to keep our services as secure as possible.” To resolve a lawsuit alleging that the franchise had caused a “public nuisance” by neglecting to take precautions to protect employees, McDonald’s officially adopted numerous preventive measures at a corporate-owned restaurant in Chicago last week.
However, in this case, the McDonald’s franchise confidently denied any wrongdoing. The business has implemented hundreds of safety precautions at its restaurants in the United States and has required franchisees to do the same. “Any outlier behavior like that claimed in these allegations doesn’t really reflect what has widely transpired and keeps happening across 14,000 U.S. McDonald’s restaurants,” McDonald’s said in a statement on Thursday.
The company claims they collaborated with top public health agencies, worldwide suppliers, and the Mayo Clinic to improve over 50 dining safety protocols and obtain over 111 million sets of personal protective equipment to ensure staff safety.