Friday, October 29, 2010

The verdict

Dr. Grumpy, for the record, is not a big fan of McDonald's. Nothing personal, I'm just not a fast food person. Like all parents, I end up stopping there on road trips to feed the kids, but I've personally never liked fast food.

But on this one, I'm going to have to side with the Golden Arches. They lost a lawsuit to a manager, who claimed he gained weight from working there.

Excuse me?

Yep. You heard that. A court in Sao Paulo, Brazil, awarded a guy $17,500 on the grounds that his job at McD's made him fat (he gained 65 lbs. over 12 years). He blamed this on the company offering free lunches to employees, as well as feeling "pressured" to frequently taste the food himself to make sure it was good.

Nowhere in the article does it say specifically what the guy was tasting, but I doubt if it was a bag of McLettuce. It also doesn't explain why he couldn't find the time to exercise in 12 years, but I guess that was McD's fault, too. Nor does it mention whether he ever considered changing to a less appetizing job, such as managing a manure farm.

I think the only thing that I find reassuring here is that the case happened in Brazil. We Americans are so used to thinking of the U.S. as the land of the frivolous lawsuit, that it's nice to know the rest of the world is the same. People are people, and the human capacity to blame someone else is infinite.

Here's the original article.

22 comments:

CrownedwithVictory said...

This is opening up so many monetary possibilities for me! The job that made me cynical, the job that sucked years off my life, the job that made me hate people, the job that caused me to spend all my money on its cool merchandise...

The Reader said...

I will say it's not at all indicative of normal Brazilians.

And, ALL jobs in Brazil offer free lunch or greatly reduced cost lunch. It's required by law. I hope McD's uses that in their appeal.

My husband is a chemist in the oil field (here in Brazil)and has lunch buffet provided at work, free. So, theoretically, if he gained 65 pounds over the next 12 yrs, I guess he could sue, too.

I was shocked when I saw this, that it happened in Brazil. It's really not a litigous country at all.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I wonder if I can sue the drug companies who bring all the food to my office?

Anonymous said...

but did you gain 65 lbs over the past 12 years?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Probably. And it's not my fault! They just leave the food here, and I don't want it to go to waste!

mike said...

McD's is just lucky he didn't spill hot coffee on himself while he was tasting the food.

Kim said...

I have a friend who works at a brewery. Can he sue if he becomes an alcoholic?

Anonymous said...

Sao Paulo Brazil ???? Picture the embarassed guy in a thong on Ipanema. No really form a picture in your mind's eye. Of course he should be paid for the humiliation.

As for the brewery worker--Yes, alcoholism acquired in the course of employment is not only compensable but is a disability .

alba said...

oh, wow.
i did not gain weight when i worked at mcd's. how stupid that i would balance my food and do sports when i so easily could have become rich. what a bummer.
and i left to serve the greater good, eh, science, and getting paid less.
i'm reconsidering my career plans.

Anonymous said...

As I recall...when working at McD's 35 years ago...the food was not free, but deducted from the pay for a reduced or discounted cost... and if is free nowadays, or if a person was eating food at work...it's their own choice in the matter...workers could've brought their own, like anyone else could (just, probably not Burger King in a brown bag)...and there was no need for 'tasting' anything because it was 'built to specifications' when it came from the Idaho potato fields and so on: http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/students/did_you_know/beefhoaxinfo.html

Joleen said...

I must admit my first thought was "Oh, Americans!" so I apologise for that!

Amazing that he kept eating. I know people who worked in a sweet factory near where I live were allowed to sample the products. They said that by the time a month had gone by the smell of the corn syrup and all that gunk that went in the sweets put them off. They hardly ate any junk. I've worked in cafes myself and when i smell of chips generally I'm more likely to crave a salad sandwich.

danielle said...

Wow- maybe I should get a lawyer....cause when I desperately worked at McD's years ago there was no FREE anything (except the grease I wore home everyday omy skin and in m hair)- so maybe I should sue them for discrimination since they gave FREE food in Brazil and not in PA?????!!!!!

KateA said...

He's just mad that his fat hangs over so far that when he wears his banana hammock, people think he's a flasher.

Seriously....at least in brazil, most of the people kept their bodies in shape for that stuff. The one nude beach where I went in Tahiti had all overweight old people.

ERP said...

Maybe he was preparing to the be the next Mayor McCheese in the local parade.

Polly said...

I'm amazed that he was willing to eat that food after 12 years of working with it. I worked at McDonald's for a single summer, and it put me off most of the menu for years after. Weeks of getting up at 4 am to fry patties in grease for eight hours, and that smell in your hair the rest of the day--no, I did not want to eat any kind of fried patty after that.

Li'l Azathoth said...

Great. Now, with this legal precedent, every churrascaria in Brazil is going to be sued out of existence. It's all part of a big plot by Subway to conquer the BRIC market.

Diana said...

I work for what is probably the McD's largest franchise owner in the United States. Part of my job is handing/processing customer claims. You would not believe some of the crap I hear on a daily basis that is nothing more than someone wanting something for nothing. You spilled that coke on youself and I should pay you $50 why? People see the "M" and see money, not burgers.

Décío Luiz Gazzoni Filho said...

As a Brazilian, I have to take offense. Our country may have millions of problems (and I mean it, we really do) but don't even try to compare the culture of litigiousness to that of the US. This is, as far as I recall, the most ridiculous lawsuit I ever heard about in our country. Now if it were in the US, I wouldn't even blink.

Anonymous said...

Next thing you know, even if carrying in a a Happy Meal, it will be WAY too onerous to prve you are a real American citizen with ocluded coronary artieries to vote by showing ID! If the Chicago dead can vote, why not everyone else who is a ciiszen as evidenced by their Chicago electric bill....

Pattie, RN
(less expressive than usual due to drugs from oral sugery three hours ago!)

Tigerhawk said...

Now that is a prime example of a lazy fat bastard.

Being a young student, i have spent my share of time working under those particular shiny arches. And yes - basic staff get a discount on shift (so if they don't bring food to eat, they can eat cheap) and managers eat free. I have spent time as a manager under said arches.

Grab a bowl, mix some of the salad together, grill some of the uncrumbed chicken and grab some OJ or milk. Not hard - quite healthy.

You're entirely correct on this one - it's a lawsuit with no purpose other than to try and mooch a bit of cash.

Anonymous said...

engineered by mc donalds brazil. it is on grumpy=worldwide.

The Reader said...

Just to reiterate to all saying that McD's charges/deducts from pay for food eaten by employees -- the rules are different in Brazil. Brazilian law *requires* employers provide lunch/meals for employees (or vouchers, etc.) This is a nation-wide requirement, no matter what industry you work in.

And, my guess is he cont'd to eat there because it is free. Buying a meal from somewhere else would be cost prohibitive for him. Food in Sao Paulo is NOT cheap, and "brown baggin' it" is not a well known concept in the culture here.

(still, yes, ridiculous law suit, but just wanting to clarify Brazilian culture/norms)

 
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