COLUMBUS, Ohio – An undetermined number of McDonald’s employees in northeastern Ohio received handbills in their most recent paychecks suggesting they vote for three Republican candidates.
The fast food chain’s corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., quickly condemned the action by the Canton franchise, saying it violated company policy. Allen Schulman, an attorney representing one of the employees, said Friday he had forwarded the paycheck insert to Canton’s city law director, citing an Ohio law 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.
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.
“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.”
Shirley Rogers Reece, general manager for the company’s Ohio region, said McDonald’s had no knowledge that the handbill was being distributed.
“We wholeheartedly respect diverse views and opinions, and our employees’ right to vote,” she said in a statement.
The company did not release the name of the owner of the franchise that distributed the handbill.