In the continuing discussion of wage inequality and stagnation in America, McDonald’s (MCD -2.65 percent) is back in the spotlight with a policy for employees that, depending on perspective, is either a lifeline for cash-strapped low wage workers, or payday loans 2.0. The classic American-turned-global fast-food chain is providing employees with the option of “accelerated pay,” a 21st-century take on employee advances, whereby workers can access earned wages prior to payday.
Why This Matters: Rather than approaching the company, employees who work for the famed golden arches fast-food chain can use a third-party provider such as Daily Pay, which processes the transaction for a fee less than those of traditional payday loans. The iconic company has been the target of the “Fight for $15” minimum wage movement and while the option for accelerated pay can serve as a much-needed stopgap for McDonald’s workers, the program does nothing to address the underlying issue of employees of very profitable companies not receiving a living wage.
It’s estimated that 1 in 8 American workers have been employed by McDonald’s in their life; everyone from Jeff Bezos to Judge Mathis.
McDonald’s employs a lot of people in the U.S. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 American workers have been employed by McDonald’s in their life; everyone from Jeff Bezos to Judge Mathis. Also, the Wall Street Journal reported 20 percent of McDonald’s U.S. employees were African-American in 2013 and that this number is growing.
Situational Awareness: The fast food giant is a very influential company and not the only one providing accelerated pay to its employees, with Kroger and Boston Market utilizing this method as well. As the average American struggles to keep up with the rising cost of living, time will tell if accelerated pay becomes the de facto way for employees to make ends meet.
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