This led to an outbreak that caused the virus to spread to at least 11 workers at the restaurant, six of their family members and at least seven workers at another McDonald’s location in Berkeley, the complaint alleges.
The Oakland location in question has been closed since May 26, when employees went on strike in response to the lack of health precautions. According to the suit, some workers were instructed by management to wear face coverings made out of unused dog diapers or coffee filters when they ran out of standard masks.
“Store managers do not enforce social distancing, and they do not give us proper gloves or sufficient masks,” lead attorney B.J. Chisholm of Altshuler Berzon said on behalf of plaintiff Yamilette Olimara Osoy Hernandez during a press call Tuesday. Her client said, “First, I had to buy masks with my own money. And at one point, the manager tried to give us dog diapers to use as masks.”
Osoy Hernandez also said her 10-month-old son contracted the virus from her, and is technically included as a plaintiff in the suit.
The lawsuit says the franchise failed to conduct appropriate deep cleaning and never asked workers about their symptoms before shifts or advised confirmed positive employees — and coworkers who came within close contact of them — to self-quarantine.
According to the lawsuit, almost all of the workers at that McDonald's location are Latino, a population disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bay Area.