McDonald's Employees Represented by Teukolsky Law Take First Step Towards Lawsuit to Protect Them from COVID-19
On May 19, 2020, six McDonald's employees represented by Teukolsky Law APC and Altshuler Berzon LLP filed administrative actions alleging that McDonald's has failed to take proper steps in three of its restaurants to protect its employees from COVID-19. Two of the restaurants are in Los Angeles; one is in San Jose. One of the Los Angeles restaurants, located in West Adams, had an outbreak of three employees who tested positive for COVID-19. The other Los Angeles restaurant, located in Monterey Park, had one worker test positive for COVID-19.
As alleged in the administrative actions, McDonald’s failed to take proactive steps, such as screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms, that would have prevented employees from working while sick. In the Monterey Park location, the employee who eventually tested positive for COVID-19 was allowed to return to work after calling out sick the day before – without any screening whatsoever, even though her managers knew she wasn’t feeling well in the middle of a global COVID-19 pandemic. Even after she went home sick, the actions allege that managers failed to warn her co-workers that she had come to work with COVID-19 symptoms, which means they touched the same surfaces she touched, and unknowingly exposed themselves and their family members.
The complaints further allege that McDonald's has failed to properly sanitize its restaurants, and has failed to provide its workers with basic protective equipment like masks and gloves. The complaints allege that there is not enough hand sanitizer or soap for workers to keep their hands clean. Managers are not enforcing proper handwashing, or permitting workers to take enough breaks to wash their hands.
Also today, workers in Chicago filed a class action lawsuit against McDonald's with similar allegations that McDonald's has failed to keep employees safe, thereby creating a public nuisance endangering the health and safety of the public at large.
If you believe that your employer is not taking proper steps to keep you safe from COVID-19, contact us today for a free consultation by calling (626) 522-8982 or through our website.
Healthcare workers are on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, health care facilities must provide workers safe and lawful working conditions.
The law requires health care facilities — such as hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, laboratories, and medical transportation services — to protect workers from COVID-19 infection by providing: 1) written exposure control procedures; 2) training; 3) work practices designed to limit exposure; and 4) personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks. More information about these requirements can be found here.
The novel Coronavirus has generated unprecedented demand for PPE supplies, and hospitals are running perilously low on masks. The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has issued interim guidance on Coronavirus regarding efficient use of masks, and when and how they may be reused. The guidance cautions that surgical and other non-respirator face masks do not prevent the inhalation of virus particles, and should not be used. More information can be found here.
California law protects workers from being fired or otherwise retaliated against for refusing to work under unsafe conditions, or for making a complaint regarding safety. Call us today at (626) 522-8982 for a free legal consult if you think you have been subjected to unlawful retaliation.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.