Employment lawyers in New Jersey are concerned about the growing numbers of McDonalds employees who are quitting or going on vacation without paying the minimum wage, but say it’s the wrong question to ask.
“If you are making $20 an hour and you are not getting paid a decent wage, you are doing something wrong,” said Paul Boes, a partner at the New Jersey Employment Law Group.
The McDonalds dispute has been ongoing since late last year when the company announced that it would cut its workforce by 25 percent.
But some employees have been paying more than the minimum.
The company recently announced that about two-thirds of the workforce was laid off, but that figure doesn’t include people who have stayed on and are working full-time.
McDonalds said it was making changes to its labor practices and will offer workers a $15 per hour wage increase starting in the fall.
The new offer is only available to employees who work for the company for a minimum of eight hours per week.
Boes said he’s been in contact with workers who say they’ve lost out on a paycheck because they’re paid $15 an hour, but it’s difficult to determine how many of them actually made that amount.
He said he is surprised the company hasn’t made the same adjustment to the hourly wage that it has to other McDonalds franchises in other states.
He said the company has said that it’s going to increase wages by an average of 2 percent over the next year, but he’s not sure what that would look like in New York.
Besig said he has heard from employees who’ve said they are afraid to leave the restaurant because they don’t know what the next step is.
Boe said he expects that the McDonald’s dispute will continue to affect other McDonald’s franchisees in New England, but if they don’st want to take action now, they may wait until the end of the year.
“I think the company will continue with their negotiations with the union,” Boes said.