McDonald's: Give Workers Paid Leave Protections Now
Update 5/20/20: The ACLU and our partners sent a public letter to McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski requesting a meeting to discuss a paid leave policy that will protect all of its employees. Additionally, the ACLU, Fight for $15, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Poor People's Campaign hosted a livestream rally on May 20 to urge the company to provide paid sick leave and family leave for all of its employees. You can strengthen our calls for change: add your name to our petition today.
Hundreds of thousands of McDonald's front-line employees are facing an impossible decision in the midst of the worsening COVID-19 crisis: Keep their jobs or maintain their health.
As an essential service provider, the fast-food giant continues to operate every day – while many workers show up with virtually no access to paid sick or family leave.
This is a failing that reaches beyond economic justice. Data on COVID-19 infection rates and fatalities in the U.S. show that the pandemic is hitting Black and Latinx communities the hardest. And a lack of access to paid leave already disproportionately impacts women, people of color, low-wage and gig workers, undocumented immigrants, and people with disabilities.
Considering women and people of color make up the majority of the nearly 800,000 workers who McDonald's employs – its denial of adequate paid leave only serves to magnify these unjust and deadly disparities.
That's why we're teaming up with the Fight for $15 and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to amplify worker voices and demand that paid sick and family leave is provided to ALL employees who wear a McDonald's uniform.
Right now, corporate-owned restaurants are the only stores required by McDonald's to provide any form of paid leave during the pandemic. That leaves 95% of their restaurants with no specific mandate to protect their workers during one of the most dangerous health crises of our time. This not only puts employees at risk, it undermines public health as well.
McDonald's has long claimed it cannot control what its independently-owned franchises do. But the company already dictates minute details of its operation, including what pickles to use. To not exert its authority now – when it will literally save lives – is unconscionable.
We must make it clear that if McDonald's wishes to be seen as a leader in the fast-food industry after this crisis, then it needs to lead from the front and put worker safety and public health first. No one should have to choose between their health or their livelihoods.
Together, we can hold them accountable: Sign our petition today and urge McDonald's to mandate paid sick and family leave protections for all workers now.