California’s labor commissioner announced Thursday that four employees of a Los Angeles McDonald’s franchise who were fired in retaliation for expressing concerns about workplace safety hazards during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been reinstated to their jobs.
Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower said the business will also have to pay the workers $113,241 in combined lost wages, interest and retaliation penalties.
The workers filed retaliation complaints with the labor commissioner’s office in September 2020 after they were fired for raising concerns over being asked to reuse facemasks and gloves and for not being notified about positive COVID-19 cases among co-workers.
The McDonald’s franchise was cited in February 2021, and the citations were subsequently upheld by a hearing officer this February.
As part of the decision, McDonald’s will have to remove negative references from the workers’ personnel files, and the restaurant will have to publicly post information about the citations and violations.