McDonald's worker hand on hat caption 'To the people who came to my store and handed me fake money... thanks now I have to pay 150 dollars outta pocket' (l) McDonald's worker holding money at drive thru booth (c)McDonald's worker looking right caption 'To the people who came to my store and handed me fake money... thanks now I have to pay 150 dollars outta pocket' (r)

Khanbua.Sil/Shutterstock @dxdamn/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Basically working for free’: Worker says they have to pay McDonald’s back $150 after accidentally accepting fake money

'This happened to me. You don’t gotta work for free if you quit.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Aug 25, 2022

Some studies indicate that around 5% of restaurant customers “dine-and-dash.” Presumably, this is easier to pull off in establishments where one is given the bill at the end of their meal.

With fast-food restaurants, pulling off a dine-and-dash is a bit more difficult, as you’re typically required to pay for your food upfront. However, one worker highlighted an alleged method a customer used to get their meal for free: fake cash.

In a video that’s been viewed nearly 330,000 times since Aug. 2, @dxdamn, who appears to be a McDonald’s worker, claimed she has to pay McDonald’s back $150 after accidentally accepting fake money. 

“To the people who came to my store and handed me fake money… thanks now I have to pay 150 dollars outta pocket,” she wrote in the text overlay, adding in the caption that she’s “basically working for free.”

“Ask me if I’m upset,” she added.

@dxdamn Basically working for free 🤦🏽 ask me if im upset… #fyp #savings #viral #abouttoquit ♬ son original – .🫀

It’s reportedly illegal for any restaurant or eating establishment to force its employees to foot the bill for customers who dine-and-dash. However, that doesn’t stop some businesses from putting the onus of ensuring that customers pay for their bills on its servers and wait staff. In 2016, The Bitchy Waiter posted a viral photo of a sign placed in a restaurant that purportedly did the aforementioned.

It read: “Due to an increase of people walking without paying, starting today, 2-9-16 Tuesday wait staff and Bartenders are fully responsible for their checks. That means, you will pay for the full amount of the check and hope that the Customers will came back and pay you. It is your job to keep checking on your costumers by making sure that they are getting the service and attention that they deserved. Thank you.”

The United States Department of Labor states that businesses are not allowed to implement this policy as part of its wage payout structure. It notes, “Where deductions for walk-outs, breakage, or cash register shortages reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage, such deductions are illegal. Where a tipped employee is paid $2.13 per hour in direct (or cash) wages and the employer claims the maximum tip credit of $5.12 per hour, no such deductions can be made without reducing the employee below the minimum wage (even where the employee receives more than $5.12 per hour in tips).”

It’s not difficult to imagine, however, that at-will employees in establishments might feel the need to comply with these requests from a business owner, boss, manager in a bid to keep from getting fired from their job. If you’re an at-will employee, a company can terminate your employment contract at any time they see fit, so long as they aren’t violating any laws while doing so.

According to a 2015 McDonald’s Crew Member Handbook available online, McDonald’s workers are considered at-will employees, which means that they are free to leave their job whenever they want without ramifications, and the burger franchise retains the same right to fire said employees whenever it feels like it. “At McDonald’s, your employment is ‘at will.’ This means that you are free to terminate your employment at any time, for any reason, and McDonald’s retains the same right.” That was at least the case in 2015.

The TikToker who posted the now viral clip explained in the comments section that she “was caught off guard because it was busy & they kept pressuring me & my manager was busy.” “Ppl make mistakes,” she added in the comment.

Others wrote that the same happened to them at their places of employment but that she shouldn’t be forced to pay the money back. “This happened to me you don’t gotta work for free if you quit,” one said.

“Tell them no,” another viewer, who said they used to work a McDonald’s, said.

Others gave tips on how to keep an eye out for fraud especially with large bills on bigger orders. “That’s why U gotta hold money up or rub the lines to see if you can feel them,” one urged.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @dxdamn via TikTok comment and McDonald’s via email.

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*First Published: Aug 25, 2022, 3:02 pm CDT