McDonald’s Sued for Forcing Fee-Charging Payroll Card on Employees


A former employee at a Pennsylvania McDonald’s is suing the fast food franchise for requiring her to receive her wages through a payroll debit card that charged fees.

In a model that had been used by several major franchises in the U.S., including Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Wal-Mart, workers had become frustrated by the fees that charged the workers to withdraw their cash from the card, receive a paper statement, have their card replaced, or for 90 days of inactivity.

Natalie Gunshannon said McDonald’s refused to let her deposit directly into her checking account.

An employee at a Milwaukee McDonald’s told CNBC that he spent up to $50 a month on fees relating to his JP Morgan Chase payroll card.

AP reported that in New York, the Attorney General’s office is investigating companies using these cards as it sent letters to Wendy’s Co., Costco Wholesale Corp., Dollar Tree Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Home Depot, Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., requesting them to send documents related to the payroll card system used by each company.

Some companies that offer the card, offer it as a an option and not a requirement, but workers have said they were automatically enrolled into it, or if they wanted to opt out, they would have to deal with a pile of paperwork.

The McDonald’s where Gunshannon worked has since said it will provide more payment options for its employees, but Gunshannon is hoping to have her case certified as a class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and the employees who also had their wages distributed through the payroll card.

H/T Eater, ABC News + PicThx Eileen Norman


Elderly Farmer Ordered to Pay Monsanto $84,000 for Planting Unlabeled Monsanto Soybeans


Pro tip: If you’re an elderly small-time soybean farmer, make sure you’re really, really careful not to piss off huge GMO-based companies like Monsanto. That’s a lesson that 76-year-old Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman probably wishes he’d learned before a lawsuit from Monsanto went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Bowman was ordered to pay Monsanto $84,000 in damages for planting patented soybeans.

The whole thing started with a single batch of Monsanto’s patented pesticide-resistant soybeans. Monsanto sells the soybeans to farmers with the agreement that second-generation seeds will be destroyed and not used for re-planting purposes, forcing farmers to buy a new batch of seed every year in exchange for hardier crops. Bowman raised a crop of Monsanto soybeans early in the growing season, but decided that he didn’t want to shell out for expensive seed to plant a risky second crop later in the season. Instead, Bowman purchased a load of unlabeled seed from a warehouse, hoping that some of the seeds would happen to contain the Monsanto gene. The crop was a success, so Bowman harvested the seeds and used them to plant subsequent crops. Monsanto viewed this as a violation of patent law and sued the pants off Bowman.

Now, after five years of costly soybean-based litigation, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Monsanto and Bowman owes Monsanto $84,000 in damages. That might not be a lot of money for Monsanto — especially since they control over 90% of the genetically modified seed market — but it’s a major blow to Bowman.

H/T NPR + PicThnx NYT


San Francisco Sues Monster Energy Drink for Marketing to Children


I’ve had a soft spot for Monster Energy Drinks ever since nine cans of the stuff helped me write one hundred and four pages in a single finals week during my sophomore year of college. Unfortunately, that caffeine-fueled week of intense productivity might have major health consequences down the road . . . at least according to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Herrera believes that Monster is a dangerous product that is irresponsibly marketed to children and teenagers.

The city of San Francisco sued the Monster Beverage Corporation for allegedly violating California law and marketing Monster energy drinks to children and adolescents despite evidence that excessive consumption of Monster can result in “significant morbidity in adolescents.” Now, we know that soft drink companies are used to all kinds of accusations, but we’re going to go with a gut feeling here and say that being accused of causing “significant morbidity” in your key consumer demographic is probably not great for Monster’s brand image. And San Francisco didn’t stop there — the lawsuit went on to link the consumption of Monster to elevated blood pressure, brain seizures, and severe cardiac events. The latter included the death of a fourteen-year-old Maryland resident who experienced cardiac arrhythmia and died after consuming two 24-oz servings of Monster.

That doesn’t look too good for the Monster Beverage Corporation, which counter-sued Herrera in an attempt to block the city’s ongoing investigation into Monster’s marketing practices and health consequences.

PicThx LA Times


Eating Nutella is as Healthy as Eating Cake Batter


We already knew that all of those Nutella commercials telling mothers that the hazelnut spread is part of a healthy breakfast were selling chocolate-covered lies, but we didn’t quite realize that putting Nutella on your toast is basically just soaking it in cake batter. Though Nutella does contain significant amounts of protein and is indeed made from hazelnuts, two tablespoons of the stuff contains two hundred calories, twenty-one grams of sugar, and eleven grams of fat — making it roughly as healthy as a Milky Way candy bar.

It’s okay, Nutella. The health myth dies hard, but we here at Foodbeast have put Nutella in so many things we love (including popsicles, cinnamon rolls, truffles, muffins, and marshmallows, to name a few) it only makes sense that we’d stuff Nutella in our arteries as well. We’ll die happy.

H/T to ABC News + PicThx to Gawker


AmeriCone Cream and Hairy Garcia are What Happens When a XXX-Company Releases a Line of Ben & Jerry’s Themed Pornos

Well here’s an answer to a question no one was asking, but it’s probably safe to say the makers of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream probably aren’t “screamers.”

Yesterday, Vermont’s Finest filed a lawsuit against Rodax Distributors and Caballero Video for producing a series of porn flicks entitled “Ben & Cherry’s,” featuring such pun-porn-tastic (purntastic?) titles inspired by the line’s most popular flavors as Boston Cream Thigh, Peanut Butter D-Cup, Hairy Garcia, and AmeriCone Cream.

According to the suit, the DVD packages clearly parody the iconic Ben & Jerry’s branding, including blue skies, cows and green grass, and pervert them according to fetish: “Peanut Butter D-Cup for large-breasted women; Chocolate Fudge Babes for African-American women; Hairy Garcia for hirsute women; New York Fat And Chunky for large women; [and] Americone Cream for ‘a delicious mix of hot American gay men.'”

Which, clearly, the pristine and prudent B&J’s company shan’t have anything to do with, lest it tarnish their perfectly PC, perfectly family-friendly image–Schweddy Balls and Karamel Sutra notwithstanding.

Chances are, because the parody is so overt (and because Ben & Jerry’s can), Rodax and Caballero are probably going to lose, requiring them not only to turn over all the profits made from the DVDs but also to have the infringing DVDs and related promotional material destroyed. Which, truth be told, might be a little too bad. After all, the box for Chocolate Fudge Babes promises four discs and 20 hours of footage, which is definitely longer than a normal carton of Ben & Jerry’s would last me.

I’m just saying.

Fast Food News

Domino’s Pizza Faces Lawsuit For Allegedly Keeping Delivery Charges of 1,600 Drivers

It looks like Domino’s has a little more on their plate than just pizza in Minnesota. Allegedly, Domino’s Pizza is facing a federal class-certified lawsuit for unlawfully keeping the delivery charges paid by their customers. The charges, according to the lawsuit, should have rightfully been given to all 1,600 drivers who have been employed at Domino’s from March 6, 2006 through February 28, 2010.

The Domino’s customers believed that the charges were going directly to the driver, which according to the lawsuit, is Minnesota law for the company to give the money to the drivers. The outcome of this case could majorly impact the decision of other cases in Minnesota that Pizza Hut, Papa Johns Pizza, and delivery drivers.

Represented by E. Michelle Drake, Matthew H. Morgan, Matthew C. Helland and Paul J. Lukas of the Nichols Kaster, PLLP law firm, the case is titled Luiken, et. al. v. Domino’s Pizza if you’d like to stay current with the issue.


That’s Not Where Asparagus Goes: Morton’s Faces Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Former Sous Chef of a Boca Raton Morton’s Steakhouse, Reggie Williams, is slapping the franchise with a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging the restaurant fostered an environment of sexual harassment and food impurity. Williams claims that one fellow employee, Edmund Bleus, went so far as to put asparagus down his pants and then later served it to unsuspecting restaurant patrons.

Williams also alleges that while in the restaurant’s walk-in cooler, Bleus caught him off guard and ripped his pants and underwear before grabbing his genitals before Williams could get away. Morton’s has yet to comment on the case it has not been disclosed just how much Williams is suing for.

(via The Huffington Post)


Needles Found in Burger King Burger

The last thing you would want to find in your burger is a couple of needles. Such was the case of a Hawaii-based soldier sitting down to his meal. Army Staff Sgt. Clark Bartholomew purchased a Triple Stacker from a Burger King in Schofield Barracks back in December and took it home. When Bartholomew ate the burger, he found that a needle in the burger had pierced his tongue. Another needle was found in his small intestine, leaving him hospitalized for six days.

Bartholomew filed a lawsuit this week in Honolulu against the restaurant. Hopefully he gets some compensation for all that trouble. Talk about scary.

(via: Huffington Post)