McDonald's takes down employee help website amid controversy

The latest criticism for McResource Line was for suggesting fast food, which the company sells, is 'unhealthy'

McDonald's removes McResource Line site amid controversy over advice given to its employees.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

McDonald’s has taken down its highly controversial employee resources website amid criticism for guidance given to its employees. The latest advice: avoid eating fast food because it is unhealthful.

In a statement posted on their website, McDonald’s said it removed the McResource Line page, “created by independent third party experts,” because of a combination of factors.

“Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary.”

The McResource Line website, however, says the page is down due to upgrades being made.

“We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible.”

McDonald’s, the world’s most successful fast food company, ironically encouraged its employees — through  the helpline site — to avoid eating burgers and fries with a soda, and suggested a healthier sandwich and salad with water, instead.

"Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place,” the helpline site read. “In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet."

McResource Line offered a list of other surprising advice to its workers.

The helpline encouraged workers to go on food stamps if they are struggling to make ends meet.

Its website also advised employees to sell unopened gifts on eBay or Craigslist to get out of holiday debt. Other tips included singing along to songs to reduce blood pressure and the warning that “stress hormone levels rise by 15 percent after ten minutes of complaining.”

Despite the reality that many fast food workers struggle economically, McResource Line gave guidance on how much to tip a pool cleaner, housekeeper, and an au pair. Many McDonald's workers are paid at or near — or, in some cases, even below — the minimum wage. The median annual income of a front-line fast-food worker is just above $11,000; one in five fast-food employees live in poverty (PDF).

There are 3.9 million fast-food employees in U.S., and the largest group of those workers are employed by McDonald’s. The fast-food giant's employees are estimated to have received $1.2 billion a year in public assistance since 2007.

Al Jazeera


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