Five Ways Restaurants Screw Their Employees
The news lately has been full of restaurant fuck-ups that create headaches for customers...and hardships for employees. While the restaurant industry as a whole serves a very useful purpose -- it sells prepared meals to people who need and want them, provides a flow of tax money to communities, and offers wage employment without requiring a ton of experience or higher-learning qualifications -- a few bad apples can leave a very bad taste.
Here's a list of five ways that restaurants screw their employees. The least they could do is buy their workers dinner first....
McDonald's is in the news again -- fat shocker -- for its latest advertising-stunt proposal, which is to test-run a new drive-thru system that would give customers their food for free if the workers don't have it out to them in sixty seconds or fewer. To check the speed of service, selected Florida locations are giving customers timers -- but since the clock doesn't start until after customers pay, the stopwatch system simply focuses on the time between the pay window and the drop window, which really wasn't the slowest part of the line in the first place.
Having embattled fast-food workers sprint like a race-track pit crew (for no extra pay) will likely increase the chances for rushed-order mistakes, making jobs harder than they have to be -- and in the meantime, customers gain nothing but a free burger or two.
Here's a fine idea! Let's have the biggest Mexican fast-food chain in America make damn sure it doesn't hire any Hispanic people! In a recent news story that almost (but not quite) defies belief, a former Taco Bell regional manager was terminated for hiring Hispanic workers. Sixty-year-old Juanita O'Connell, who is part Hispanic, was allegedly told by Taco Bell Operations Leader Mark Lewis (total white bro name) not to hire Hispanics, and when he dropped by O'Connell's store one day and saw a Hispanic person working there, O'Connell was given the boot on flimsy pretexts.
Most of the time our country's penchant for litigation is annoying as all hell -- but in this case, O'Connell decided to sue for wrongful termination, and it smells like Taco Bell might be serving up some Mexican pizzas with a side of out-of-court settlement.
3) They play a rousing game of dodgeball with overtime pay.
Subway restaurants have proved to be surprisingly adept at marketing five-dollar footlong sandwiches--and even more clever at avoiding paying its employees for overtime. Former sandwich artist Erwin Moya is suing a Washington state Subway franchise, alleging two years' worth of pay he was screwed out of when the franchise owner pretended he was multiple workers, and paid multiple paychecks to keep his weekly hours at forty or under. Moya says he worked an average of seventy hours a week, and was paid under his own name, under a fake name, and also put on the payroll of another store, so the owner could dodge both overtime and minimum wage requirements.
For more ways restaurants screw employees, read on.