Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Want Advice With That Paycheck?

Ohio McDonald's gives voting advice in paychecks

"COLUMBUS, Ohio — A handful of McDonald's employees in northeastern Ohio received handbills in their most recent paychecks suggesting they vote for three Republican candidates.

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

The fast food chain's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., distanced itself from the action by Canton franchisee Paul Siegfried, saying it was not reflective of the company's position. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, the Democratic elections chief, said she was launching an investigation because the action appeared to violate Ohio election laws.

Allen Schulman, an attorney representing one of the employees, said Friday he had forwarded the paycheck insert to Canton's city law director, citing state and federal laws against corporate advocacy in elections.

"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 in a statement.

Siegfried issued an apology later Friday, emphasizing the value he places on employees and their freedom of choice in the upcoming election.

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

The handbill with a simple McDonald's logo at the top recommended votes for Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for U.S. Senate, and Jim Renacci for Ohio's 16th congressional district. A Renacci campaign flier was also included."


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