Oakland McDonald’s Workers Sue after More than a Dozen COVID-19 Cases

Represented by Altshuler Berzon LLP, four McDonald’s workers and one worker’s minor child filed a lawsuit today in Alameda County Superior Court seeking injunctive and other relief against the owners and management of an Oakland McDonald’s restaurant, alleging that inadequate health and safety precautions have led to a major COVID-19 outbreak among workers, their families, and the community.

As outlined in the Complaint, the lawsuit alleges that the management and ownership of the restaurant, located at 4514 Telegraph Avenue, discouraged workers and managers who were sick with COVID-19 symptoms from taking sick leave and otherwise failed to ensure safe working conditions, including by not requiring adequate cleaning, PPE, or social distancing.  The lawsuit also alleges that after some workers tested positive, the restaurant failed to inform co-workers promptly of their exposure or of the need to self-quarantine.  At least 11 workers from the restaurant, plus 6 members of their families, have contracted COVID-19 since mid-May.  And an additional 7 workers at a Berkeley McDonald’s restaurant, whose workforce overlaps with the Oakland location, have now also contracted COVID-19.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ grossly inadequate response to this Coronavirus outbreak constitutes a public nuisance.  Plaintiffs also bring claims under the Unfair Competition Law, Oakland’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, and Oakland’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would require the owners and managers of the 4514 Telegraph Avenue restaurant to take measures necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 before the restaurant (which is presently closed) is allowed to reopen.