McDonald's workers nationwide at risk of violence and injuries

No American city seems complete without at least one McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's is popular for its food as well as its late hours. The restaurants are convenient for those who wish to grab a snack or a meal at almost any time of the day or the night.

Unfortunately, the franchise is fraught with underreported workplace injuries caused by violence. A recent story on the website Salon.com goes into some detail about the violence that plagues restaurant workers. Two McDonald's robberies occurred here in Omaha. Both involved firearms. Examples of additional violent encounters leading to workplace injuries include perpetrators:

  • Attacking staff members with objects
  • Throwing hot beverages onto drive-thru workers
  • Attempting to forcibly pull workers over the counter
  • Kicking and/or punching staff members

Every worker in the nation -- including fast food employees -- has a legal right to work in a safe environment. In the case of McDonald's, it is up to owners and managers to make certain that no workplace injuries put the staff at risk. That includes injuries caused by violence.

The story highlights the need for the franchise to set down more effective policies to protect its workforce, many of them very young or elderly. Examples of policy improvements include:

  • Intensive training about violence for workers
  • More personnel on late night shifts when violence is most common
  • Installing panic buttons to alert authorities
  • Making drive-thru windows safer

In the meantime, fast food workers injured through violence have rights. One such right is workers' compensation to pay for medical care and to help employees who are unable to work for a time. Another important right involves feeling free to report incidents leading to workplace injuries. Anyone having difficulty protecting these rights may find assistance from an attorney.

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