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McDonalds Advises its Workers: Get a Second Job and don’t buy Food or our Health Insurance

As Brendan Kiley notes, McDonalds has created a special budgeting guide for its employees. Here’s just one page from the guide:

McDonalds Sample Monthly Budget: Unliveable

Kiley has noticed that there isn’t any spot for food in McDonalds’ sample budget for its employees, that heat won’t be a necessity either, but that a second job will be necessary. Why? Because the amounts specified in this budget just aren’t enough to get by, at least not safely.

There’s more detail worth notice beyond the rhetorical level, because McDonalds’ sample budget isn’t rhetorical. That $1,105 figure for monthly income isn’t just some arbitrary sample figure. It comes from somewhere. According to Glass Door, the average McDonalds pay for a cashier or crew member is $7.72 an hour, a few pennies above minimum wage. If a person works full time of 40 hours a week at McDonalds in a typical month (which has 4 1/3 weeks), their monthly pay will come out to $1,338 before payroll taxes. After payroll taxes (check the figures here) a full-time McDonalds worker will take home between $1,000 and $1,100 a month.

With that in mind, McDonalds’ own sample budget confirms that, without a second job on top of full-time work at McDonalds, it’s not possible to make a personal budget work — even if, as Kiley points out, you don’t eat or pay for any heat in the winter.

And if we’re going to be sticklers about it, McDonalds’ own corporate benefits package for 2013 declares that its least-expensive health care package for a single employee with no children costs $14 a week, or $61 for the average 4 1/3 week month — not the $20/month noted in that dreamy corporate sample budget for employees. That basic health care option is far from a full insurance plan, covering only up to $2,000 in medical expenses per year, per person. If an employee has a medical emergency or needs medication, McInsurance won’t cut the mustard. What if an employee has kids? Add on more expense. What if that employee or her kids needs glasses or wants to go the the dentist? Forget it: dental and vision aren’t included in the insurance plan. If you want those options, you’ll have to pay more, more, more — more than there’s room for in the sample budget for McDonalds employees.

What else do you notice that’s missing from this budget? I invite you to chime in with what you know — but even without this additional information, it’s clear from McDonalds’ own documents for its employees that it just doesn’t pay a living wage. This isn’t just a McDonald’s problem — this is what life looks like for a person who works full time near the minimum wage.

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