Just under 30 McDonald's employees have filed federal complaints against the chain with the Occupational Safety an Health Administration (OSHA). According to the Huffington Post, the workers allege that the restaurants are so understaffed and that they are forced to do tasks in haste, leading to "burns, falls, and other injuries." The employees also claim that they were not given access to basic first aid or any form of protective equipment.
Brittney Berry — an employee at a McDonald's in Chicago — says that she was "so harried one day" that she slipped and burned her arm on the hot grill. She was hospitalized for her burns and suffered nerve damage. Berry alleges that her managers told her to simply treat the burn with condiments: "The managers told me to put mustard on it." That solution sounds just as ridiculous as McDonald's advising its employees to get a second job to make ends meet.
Turns out Berry isn't the only employee that was told to treat her injuries with condiments. According to a poll of fast food workers commissioned by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health in conjunction to the OSHA filing, "One-third (33%) of all burn victims say that their manager suggested wholly inappropriate treatments for burns, including condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, butter, or ketchup, instead of burn cream." The poll also reveals that a staggering "87% of fast food workers have suffered some type of injury in the past year, including 78% who suffered multiple injuries."
The complaints were filed with the supported of Fight for $15, a labor coalition that has been calling for a $15 minimum wage for fast food employees and union recognition through protests and strikes. While stores are owned by independent franchisers, Fight for $15 believes that "the responsibility to keep workers safe ultimately falls on McDonald's." The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agrees. Last year, the NLRB ruled that McDonald's Corporation is considered to be a "joint employer," meaning that it can now be held liable for the working conditions at any of its restaurants.