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Class Action Against Chicago McDonald’s For Alleged COVID-19 Failures

Five Chicago McDonald’s workers have filed a class action lawsuit arguing that the restaurant chain’s “inadequate” COVID-19 protective measures endangers both employees and customers. According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, allow for proper social distancing, or notify employees when co-workers tested positive for COVID-19 at four Chicago restaurants during the pandemic. The plaintiffs, who work at these four McDonald’s locations, cited a number of examples in the lawsuit of “dangerous conditions” that allegedly risked spreading the disease to customers, co-workers, and family members.

The complaint alleges, “The damage done by inadequate safety practices is not confined to the walls of a restaurant, but instead has broader public health consequences for the Chicago community.” In addition, the complaint alleges the restaurants did not implement 6-foot social distancing in the kitchens and did not provide adequate personal protective equipment to employees. The lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring McDonald’s to supply protective equipment to workers, enforce face mask policies for employees and customers, and monitor employees for infections, informing co-workers “immediately” of possible exposure.

McDonald’s responded in a statement that the allegations are “inaccurate characterizations … which do not represent the actual realities in our 14,000 restaurants around the country.” McDonald’s said that since February, it has implemented nearly 50 processes at its stores aimed at keeping employees and customers safe during the pandemic, including social distancing, increased hand washing, and the use of gloves and masks, which are supplied by the restaurants.