A former McDonald’s employee reportedly sued the fast food giant for firing after protesting a lack of coronavirus protection at her restaurant.
Maria E. Ruiz Bonilla says McDonald’s preserved them in July after more than 16 years of service after accusing the chain of failing to provide employees with masks, gloves, hand soap and hand sanitizer at their San Jose, Calif. Store. Business Insider reports Friday.
Ruiz claims McDonalds cut her hours in April after she started leading employee protests and then fired her a few months later. She reportedly filed a retaliatory lawsuit against whistleblowers in California state court on Friday, demanding that the company reinstate her and return her salary and damages.
“We have been called the essential workers, but that’s how you treat the essential workers?” Ruiz told Business Insider.
Ruiz told the website that McDonald’s did not let her wear a mask to work or provide protective equipment after the pandemic this spring. She and other staff reportedly complained to health officials about the lack of security in the restaurant.
However, the local health department found that the store was abundant in hand sanitizer and soap, and that employees followed social distancing instructions when visiting on April 16, McDonald’s told Business Insider. On April 12, masks and gloves arrived in the restaurant, the company said.
Ruiz’s claims “are false and cannot be substantiated,” the Chicago-based chain told The Post in a statement. “The employee was fired after a thorough review found she falsely reported a security breach, created and provided false evidence, and lied during the investigation.”
Ruiz’s lawsuit was not available through the California court database early Friday afternoon.
This is not the first time the Golden Arches have been accused of firing a critical employee. A Chicago employee filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in June. according to Bloomberg News. McDonald’s told intelligence services that there are strict policies in place to combat retaliation.