McDonald's shutters gaffe-prone employee help site

McDonald's (MCD) blundering employee-resources site is McDOA. 

The McResource Line website was taken down after several embarrassing gaffes. The latest, as reported by CBS MoneyWatch on Tuesday, was a recommendation to avoid eating fast food because it "may put people at risk for becoming overweight."

In a statement on its website, McDonald's said it has directed a vendor to "take down the [McResource] 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"Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary," the company said. "None of this helps our McDonald's team members."

That may be an understatement for many of the company's workers, who earn a median wage of $8.78 per hour. 

Take, for instance, the site's advice earlier this month on holiday tipping. The site offered helpful ideas on how much to tip an au pair, garage attendants and massage therapists. That's probably not high on the list of pressing holiday problems for workers earning about $18,200 a year, an income that would qualify some for food stamps. 

Earlier in the year, the company offered some tone-deaf budget advice, which suggested adding a second job to make ends meet. The burger giant also omitted some basics such as child care and suggested putting aside a laughably low $20 a month for health insurance. (Employees typically spent $2,204 on premiums in 2012, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.)

Earlier this week, McDonald's defended its advice to avoid fast food, saying that the website had been "taken entirely out of context." The company noted that it offers "a variety of balanced menu choices and have introduced oatmeal, grilled chicken, egg whites and real-fruit smoothies in a range of serving sizes for adults and kids."

While that may be the case -- McDonald's CEO Don Thompson claimed to have lost weight while eating his company's food -- the site is going the way of the McDLT, the 1980s burger that was condemned for its ecologically out-of-touch polystyrene packaging

For employees still needing help, McDonald's said it continues to operate an internal telephone help line. 

  • Aimee Picchi

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