mcdonalds rymal road

McDonald's employee charged after faking COVID-19 to get out of work

An 18-year-old Hamilton woman is facing multiple charges of fraud and mischief today after using a fake positive test result for COVID-19 to get out of her shift at McDonald's.

Hamilton Police say that the unidentified woman "created a fake physician's note with fraudulent medical information about testing positive for COVID-19" and presented it to a supervisor at her place of employment on March 19.

Said place of employment —the McDonald's restaurant at 20 Rymal Rd. E. — was immediately closed down for sanitization. All other employees at the store were sent home to self-isolate.

Police say that the restaurant was closed for several days while professional, third-party cleaning services worked to disinfect it.

On March 23, Hamilton Public Health Services contacted police to report that the doctor's note which had spurred the closure was fake.

"There has been a significant impact on the restaurant, local customers and employees which instigated the need for police involvement," wrote Hamilton Police in a media release issued Friday morning.

Police say the teenager was arrested on Thursday and charged with mischief over $5,000, fraud under $5,000, using a forged document and making a forged document.

"On Thursday, March 19, an employee at our Rymal location in Hamilton, ON, reported testing positive for COVID-19," said McDonald's corporate relations spokesperson Ryma Boussoufa in an emailed statement. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, McDonald's Canada closed the restaurant voluntarily for thorough cleaning and disinfecting, while awaiting confirmation from local health authorities."  

"We take these allegations seriously. When the fraud was confirmed by the Hamilton Police Service, our team offered full cooperation," continued Boussoufa.

"We maintain that closing the restaurant was the right thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our people, our guests, and our community."

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