R$7.5 Million Dollar Fine Paid by McDonald’s

On Thursday, March 21st, Mcdonald’s was ordered to pay R$7.5 million dollars in compensation for collective moral damages after a civil action lawsuit was filed against the company by the Ministry of Labor in Pernambuco in Recife. The order was given by Judge Virginia Lucia de Sa Bahia of the 11th Labor Court of Recife.

In the suit, there were allegations that the corporation had been in violation of the Brazilian labor legislation because it was employing illegal working hours and also mandating that employees only eat food from McDonald’s during meal times.

This particular location was part of the Arcos Dorados McDonald’s, which is the largest franchise network in Brazil, with 1,800 stores in twenty different countries and territories. They serve an estimated 4.3 million customers every day. Arcos Dorados purchased the franchise rights in Latin America in 2007.

Arcos Dorados released the following press statement in regards to the charges of it mandating that employees only eat McDonald’s food during meal times: “We have changed the menu of meals provided to employees, according to the guidelines of the authorities of the area, with several choices of dishes balanced and developed by nutritionists.”

The company also released a statement in regards to the illegal work hours: “[Arcos Dorados] adopts legal working hours, without any violation of the labor law of its employees, with payment of minimum wages set by unions of every city in the country where it operates, but it accepts this change in procedure with technically feasible deadlines agreed to with the authorities in the area.”

A public prosecutor of labor, Leonardo Mendonca, explained that in the future “If the network breaches any of the items formalized the agreement they will have to pay a fine of R$2,000 for each employee.”