Politics

Ohio McDonald's Employees Threatened: Vote GOP or No Raises

| by Mark Berman

The owner of several McDonald's restaurants in Ohio is apologizing for suggesting that his employees would not get raises if they didn't vote Republican in Tuesday's elections.

Paul Siegfried attached Republican handouts to his employees' paychecks last week, along with a note that basically said vote for GOP candidates, or else: 

"If the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected we will not."

Siegfried apologized after word got out, writing in a statement:

"Distributing this communication was an error of judgment on my part. Please know it was never my intention to offend anyone. For those that I have offended, I sincerely apologize."

Allen Schulman, a lawyer representing one of the employees, said he has contacted the city's law director, saying state and federal laws against corporate advocacy in elections have been violated.

"It's no surprise to anyone that Ohio is a battleground state in this election, and for a multinational corporation like McDonald's to threaten employees like this is morally and legally wrong," Schulman said.

However, McDonald's USA said it did not know its franchisee was doing this, and the action does not reflect corporate policy.