LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – After seven years of litigation, McDonald’s has agreed to pay $26 million to thousands of McDonald’s workers in California to settle a class-action lawsuit brought in Los Angeles County Superior Court which alleges that the fast-food giant didn’t give workers overtime pay nor give them proper meal breaks.
The lawsuit, which was first filed back in 2013 by a McDonald’s employee in L.A., claimed that McDonald’s structured it’s timekeeping in order to avoid California laws regarding overtime pay. It also keep employees from taking meal breaks.
About 38,000 people are represented in the suit, according to CNN.
“While we continue to believe our employment practices comply with the California Labor Code, we have decided to resolve this lawsuit filed back in early 2013,” the company said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. “With this settlement, the parties have reached a mutually acceptable resolution and have submitted the settlement to the Court for its review and approval.”
In response to the deal, workers were holding a rally Monday afternoon at a McDonald’s located at 101 West Manchester Avenue in South L.A.
“McDonald’s cheated us out of tens of millions, but by standing up and speaking out, we’re holding the world’s second largest employer accountable for breaking the law,” said McDonald’s employee Rosario Mercado in a statement through Fight for $15, an advocacy group.
The lawsuit also alleges that McDonald’s didn’t reimburse employees for cleaning and ironing their own uniforms, according to the Fight for $15.
Last week, McDonald’s reached a similar settlement in a lawsuit in New Zealand which could see it pay up to $29 million for miscalculating holiday pay going back to 2009. As many as 60,000 New Zealand workers there could be affected.