Workers at McDonald’s restaurants in New Jersey and around the country are often confronted with violent situations while on the job. After studying working conditions at McDonald’s restaurants over the past three years, the National Employment Law Project found 721 media reports of violent altercations. Unfortunately, many more incidents are not reported in the media. The New York-based nonprofit group says that most of these incidents involve individuals brandishing guns.
A group of McDonald’s workers in Chicago says that their store is particularly violent. They have filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that claims the fast-food company and its franchisee are not doing enough to keep them safe. The complaint, which was filed on May 20, includes accounts of workers being threatened with guns, dodging food thrown by deranged customers and having scalding coffee thrown over them. They say the company is well aware of these incidents but has done nothing to improve security.
When questioned about the complaint, a McDonald’s representative said that the company is rolling out a training program across the country to promote workplace safety. The spokesperson also mentioned company policies that prohibit violence and threats of violence against both workers and customers.
Workers who are injured during violent workplace incidents are usually entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, an attorney may suggest a victim file a personal injury lawsuit if the employer was aware of the dangers and ignored them. By accepting workers’ comp benefits, an employee forfeits the right to sue for damages.