Herald Staff Writer
Norton McDonald’s is disputing anonymous allegations made against the store which appeared in an article in the March 26 edition of the Herald.
Several sources claimed several store employees became ill with mild to severe flu-like symptoms beginning after the general manager supposedly returned from a cruise early February.
A representative of Golden Alliance, Inc., owner of the McDonald’s location, responded March 26 stating, “No manager at Norton McDonald’s missed work for flu-like symptoms, severe or otherwise,” and “no employee at Norton McDonald’s has tested positive for COVID-19.”
McDonald’s claims the article “misrepresents whether employees have taken sick leave, the number of sick days taken by employees, and the reasons for sick leave at Norton McDonald’s.” They further claim the article “misrepresents that any allegedly sick employees were required to work.”
The representative asserts that the article “is causing damage, including loss of profits and reputation to Norton McDonald’s” and “has caused harm to the hardworking and decent employees there” The representative also notes that “Golden Alliance Inc. has been advancing paid sick leave to employees out of an abundance of precaution so that employees do not show up to work” and has “avoided layoffs” while providing “raises and increased benefits for employees” during the pandemic.
An official with Summit County Public Health conducted an investigation of the McDonald’s location March 27 and did not find the store to be in violation of any health orders.
The official reported that “the facility is following all the social distancing guidelines” by ensuring “sanitizer is used and gloves are changed after each transaction at the drive through,” and “work stations are marked so workers can operate over 6 feet from each other.” The health inspector also reported that “the person that was thought to have COVID-19 was tested and released to work again by a medical doctor,” and “was diagnosed with an illness that was not COIVD-19.”
They further noted that “the person in question has not returned to work but has been cleared.” It is unclear whether the person referred to is the McDonald’s general manager or another store employee.
Some sources reaffirm their claims and say the account of the situation at McDonald’s, as it appeared in the March 26 edition, is accurate. One source did not respond to a request for comment.
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