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US fast-food staff stuck in low-paying jobs because of hidden clauses

Provisions in contracts that franchisees sign with corporate HQs prevent workers from switching jobs

A photo on an iPhone of Leinani Deslandes, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against McDonald's, in Florida. She worked at McDonald's from 2009-2016 in the hopes of owning her own franchise. When the promotion never came, she tried to take a job at a different McDonald's but was blocked because of a no-hiring rule in the franchise contract.

Orlando, Florida

THE American fast-food industry is built on two pillars: cheap hamburgers and cheap labour.

As economists try to understand why wages have stagnated across the country's economy, they are examining the cheap labour part of the equation closely. A few have zeroed in...

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