New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said cashiers were regularly required to work before and after their shifts at Richard Cisneros' seven McDonald's franchises. Those workers were not paid overtime, nor were they compensated the costs of cleaning their uniforms or given the extra hour of minimum-wage pay required for shifts in which they worked 10 consecutive hours.
"Like every other business in New York State, fast food employers must follow our labor laws,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Our lowest wage workers deserve the same protections of the law as everyone else. It’s critical, for them and for their families as well as for our economy, that we remain vigilant so that no New Yorkers are cheated out of their hard won earnings."
The settlement will be split between 1,600 current and former McDonald's employees.
"I value my employees -- and it is important to me that they be paid correctly," Cisneros said in a statement through a spokesman. "So I am pleased to have reached a settlement with the New York State Attorney General to correct mistakes my organization made in this area. We have also agreed with the Attorney General to use the services of a third party administrator, who will help us ensure that current and former employees who are due money receive that money."
Lawsuits against McDonald's and its franchisees have also been filed in California and Michigan, accusing the company of systematically cheating its workers out of wages.