Nancy Salgado of Chicago has been working at the fast food chain for ten years and makes $8.25 per hour. Salgado asked about getting assistance to pay for groceries, heating and medical expenses for her sister, and said she was recording the call for her sister.
The operator told Salgado she "definitely should be able to qualify for both food stamps and heating assistance," without even asking how much she made per hour or how many hour per week she worked, though Salgado mentioned she was "full time."
The representative listed resources in Chicago including food pantries and a heating assistance program.
McDonald's said in a statement that "the McResource Line is intended to be a free, confidential service to help employees and their families get answers to a variety of questions or provide resources on a variety of topics including housing, child care, transportation, grief, elder care, education and more."
Franchise owners need to pay for the McResource service in order for their employees to use it, but even though Salgado's franchise owner had not paid, she was was able to call the line.
The operator said that none of the Chicago franchises had paid for it. "We can be a good program," the operator said. "We can do a lot of the leg work that takes a lot of the stresses off of you making a million phone calls trying to find services."
The recorded call was released just a week after a major report found that more than half of fast food workers rely on public assistance programs, costing taxpayers some $7 billion per year.
A separate report that same day found McDonald's alone was responsible for $1.2 billion of that public cost.
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