We were being treated like dogs — giving us dog diapers to use as masks. We are not dogs. — Angely Rodriguez Lambert, a former worker at a McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland, Calif.
We were being treated like dogs — giving us dog diapers to use as masks. We are not dogs. — Angely Rodriguez Lambert, a former worker at a McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland, Calif.
McDonald’s Franchise Settles Suit Involving ‘Dog Diaper’ Masks
There have been many confrontations over workplace safety since the pandemic began. One of the strangest has just been resolved: the case of the dog diapers.

Workers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland, Calif., said their employer provided them with masks made from the diapers in lieu of bona fide masks at the start of the pandemic last year. They were also given masks made from coffee filters, they said.

After complaining, the employees said, they were given proper disposable masks but were told to wash and reuse them until they frayed. The allegations were included in a subsequent lawsuit, which contended that the franchise owner’s inattention to safety had resulted in a Covid-19 outbreak among workers and their families.

Now the workers and the franchise owner are announcing a settlement in which the restaurant has agreed to enforce a variety of safety measures, including social distancing, contact tracing and paid sick leave policies. The settlement also calls for a management-worker committee to meet monthly to discuss compliance with the mandated measures and whether new ones are needed.

“The committee was one of those things that was extremely important,” Angely Rodriguez Lambert, a former worker at the McDonald’s who was one of the plaintiffs, said through an interpreter. “We were being treated like dogs — giving us dog diapers to use as masks. We are not dogs.”

Michael Smith, who owns and operates the store, denied all the accusations in his legal filings, and the settlement does not involve an admission of wrongdoing.


... Beyond safety lapses and risks to workers, the lawsuit accused the franchise owner of “assisting in the creation” of a public nuisance because, according to the complaint, workers who became infected on the job spread the coronavirus in their community. The lawsuit said at least 25 people, including a worker’s 10-month-old child, had become infected from an outbreak that emanated from the restaurant.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/business/mcdonalds-dog-diapers.html