An ex-manager says she was short-changed thousands working for McDonald’s shops face a lawsuit with implications for 100,000 staff.
An ex-manager says she was short-changed thousands working for McDonald’s shops face a lawsuit with implications for 100,000 staff.

‘Underpaid’ staff raise pay beef with Macca’s

A former McDonald's worker allegedly lost thousands in wages after she was not paid breaks over a four-year period.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which represents fast food workers, yesterday lodged the landmark legal paperwork on the fast food giant, accusing three Adelaide outlets of not providing paid breaks.

The documents were lodged in the Adelaide registry of the Federal Court.

The case has the potential to affect more than 100,000 staff employed at more than 970 McDonald's restaurants across Australia.

The union alleged that staff at McDonald's in Felixstow, Frewville and Mount Barker were deliberately denied paid rest and drink breaks.

According to the enterprise agreement which covers all McDonald's workers, any employee who works longer than four hours is entitled to a ten minute paid drink break.

Any employee working longer than nine hours gets a second paid drink break included in their pay.

In court documents seen by The Advertiser the union alleges that 14 current and previous staff across the three restaurants were denied those breaks.

 

Former McDonald's shift manager Madeleine Liliburn says she can’t recall ever having one of the breaks she was entitled to. . Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz
Former McDonald's shift manager Madeleine Liliburn says she can’t recall ever having one of the breaks she was entitled to. . Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Former Hiring and Training Manager at McDonald's Frewville, Madeleine Lilliburn, 23, said she did not get paid for 10-minute food and drink breaks that she was entitled to when working more than four hours per shift.

Ms Lilliburn said her management shifts would usually be eight-and-a half to nine hours, and she should have been entitled for two 10-minute breaks.

"I don't think I ever had one … and I don't think I was ever instructed to give one to anyone either."

She estimated the total sum of money lost may be in the thousands.

"It's just disappointing management expected us to follow their rules, but they're not going to do the right thing by us."

Ms Lilliburn said she was given a 30-minute lunch break, but denied the water break.

She said she finds it disturbing that there are teenagers as young as 14-years-old working at the company who may not be receiving their breaks, and is worried for the flow-on effect it has for future employment.

"Fourteen to 15-year-olds don't exactly have the courage to stand up on their own to such a big company like McDonald's, it makes me worried for them" said Ms Lilliburn, who left the company two years ago.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said the firm was aware of the impending lawsuit.

 

 

Originally published as 'Underpaid' staff raise pay beef with Macca's



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