Sunday, 31 October 2010

McDonald's Ordered to Pay For Making Employee Fat

By Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil
ronald mcdonald arrested photo

The McDonald's fast-food empire nets around $22 billion a year by serving its less-than healthy entrees to millions of patrons around the world -- but now, in a twist of irony, they'll be paying a pretty penny to one man who was forced by the company to eat the stuff. A former restaurant manager in Porto Alegre, Brazil was recently awarded over $17,500 dollars after he gained 65 pounds performing mandatory quality-control tests every day for 12 years. Evidently, he's not lovin' it -- his portly new figure, that is.

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, when the unnamed former McDonald's manager began working for the company at age 18, he weighed in at a healthy 154 pounds. Twelve years later, after being forced to eat samples of food every day to ensure quality standards, he tipped the scales at around 230 pounds.
While the plaintiff was employed at McDonald's, one of his regular duties required him to eat "too much salt, sugar, and fat," which caused him to develop "high cholesterol, obesity, and muscle weakness." Moreover, employees on duty were not provided with healthier meal options, lest they acknowledge that regularly consuming the food they sell indeed makes people fat.

In siding with the complainant's case, the judges ordered the fast-food giant to pay the former employee $17,500 in damages, and help cover the medical expenses required for the "full restoration of the health of the claimant."
McDonald's has the option to appeal the ruling, though I suspect they'd prefer the unflattering indictment of the food they serve fade away quietly. For those of us who have long known of the dangers from eating too much fast-food, with its often unseemly production methods and strangely invincible qualities, the ruling has far-reaching implications.
After all, there are millions of people world-wide whose eating habits greatly mirror those forced upon this plump plaintiff -- but instead of being awarded thousands of dollars in restitution for the resulting health problems, they're shelling out money for it.

It makes you wonder where Ronald McDonald eats for lunch everyday -- he's pretty slim for a clown. Still, I've got a pretty good guess where he doesn't go.


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