Workers employed by two McDonald’s franchises in Chicago now have more protection against the coronavirus thanks to a court order forcing the restaurants to comply with state mask and social distancing requirements.
The June 24 court order was the result of a class action lawsuit brought against several franchise owners by employees concerned for their safety during the pandemic.
The judge granted a preliminary injunction against two of the franchisees – McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois Inc. and DAK4 LLC – while letting a third, Lexi Management LLC, off the hook since it no longer owned the restaurant identified in the lawsuit.
While the judge found the franchisees provided sufficient masks, gloves and sanitizer to workers and adequately monitored virus cases among employees, she felt they needed to do more to comply with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive order.
She ordered the franchise owners to enforce all mask-wearing policies when employees can’t be more than 6 feet apart and to train workers on maintaining social distancing.
The judge found the potential risk of harm to both the workers and the community was severe while the hardship the company and its franchisees would suffer by enforcing the policies was slight.
In responding to a Business Insurance request for comment, McDonanld’s Corp. said it was “pleased the judge found that strong measures are already in place” at the Chicago restaurants, and those measures are “part of the 50 processes we have enhanced during the pandemic to keep restaurant employees and customers safe.”