A US McDonald’s manager explains why sick pay should be a legal minimum, in a heartfelt personal account

Fran Marion McDonald's shift manager Kansas city
Support us and go ad-free

McDonald’s in Ireland and the UK is closing its restaurants by 7pm on 23 March, in response to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. But employees in its franchised outlets in the US still have to go to work. And that’s even if they’re sick. Otherwise, they’ll lose a day’s pay. This is despite recent changes to paid sick leave legislation in the US.

Personal account

The flaws of the new legislation were best expressed by a McDonald’s shift manager in Kansas City, Fran Marion. Marion told her story in a heartfelt video. Later in the video, she highlighted why sick pay must be a guaranteed right at all times:

In this emotional video, Marion explains how she works for $11.50 per hour, and that a day off sick means a day without pay. This in turn affects her ability to provide for her family and keep a roof over their heads.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Marion warns us about the recent change to paid sick leave legislation saying:

But you guys, don’t be fooled. That’s only for corporate-owned McDonald’s. But 95% of McDonald’s are franchised stores, including my store, so that does not benefit us whatsoever.

On 18 March, Donald Trump signed an emergency aid package into law that would mean paid sick leave for US workers and free diagnostic testing for the coronavirus. But the major flaws in this legislation exclude people like Marion.

Support

Lots of people responded to the video to express support. This included congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

Change in legislation

Even if the US legislation did include Marion, she reminds us that this would only cover the coronavirus period; there would be no cover for her outside of this period. But it’s possible for companies to change this. She says one restaurant chain decided to accelerate the rollout of its sick pay scheme. The scheme was already planned to go ahead, but it was fast-tracked because of the pandemic.

Paid sick leave should be a basic employment right; and not only for the health of the employees. Because the pandemic our planet is currently grappling with shows how everybody’s health is connected.

Featured image via Twitter – NYT

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us