State and Nation Business

McDonald's closes employee website amid criticism

OAK BROOK – McDonald's Corp. has shut down a website intended to provide employees with work and life guidance after it generated negative publicity for the fast-food company.

The McResource program has been criticized for creating unrealistic budgets and offering advice that was out of touch with its workers' pay. The website, which was run by an outside company, also reportedly discouraged workers from eating fast food.

McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, said Thursday that it is having its vendor take down the website.

"Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary," the company said in a statement.

Earlier this year, media and labor groups criticized the website for content including sample budgets for employees that were based on holding two jobs and included no costs for heating, as well as suggestions on what to tip a personal fitness trainer or au pair.

One critic, the "Low Pay is Not Okay" campaign, was one of the groups behind strikes and rallies by fast-food workers and labor organizers earlier this month that demanded better pay. While efforts vary by state, organizers are hoping to build public support to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25, or about $15,000 a year for full-time work.

And in an embarrassing moment for McDonald's, the world's largest hamburger chain, CNBC reported last week that the McResource website discouraged eating fast food as part of its tips for healthy living.

While it has shut down the website, McDonald's said it plans to continue an internal telephone help line through which the majority of its employees access its work-life help resources.

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