- McDonald's corporate-owned, non-franchise locations in Florida accused of sexual harassment.
- Plaintiffs seeks £397 million in compensatory damages as well as additional penalties.
- The fast-food company says it doesn't operate 95% of its restaurants in the United States.
McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly subjecting its female workers to sexual harassment at its fast-food restaurants in Florida.
According to lawsuit filed in the Federal Court of Chicago on Friday:
“McDonald’s promoted severe or pervasive sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, including groping, physical assaults, and sexually-charged verbal comments.”
McDonald’s immediately responded to the lawsuit highlighting its undying commitment towards ensuring a safe work environment that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. The American fast-food company said:
“The plaintiffs’ allegations of harassment and retaliation were investigated as soon as they were brought to our attention, and we will likewise investigate the new allegations that they have raised in their complaint.”
Plaintiffs Are Seeking £397 Million In Compensatory Damages
The plaintiffs, McDonald’s ex-employee Ashley Reddick, and a current employee Jamelia Fairley, are representing Florida-based female workers at over 100 of McDonald’s non-franchise corporate-owned locations. As per the lawsuit, plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages worth £397 million and additional penalties as well.
According to Reddick and Fairley, McDonald’s didn’t train its workers against sexual harassment. The company shuffled sexual bullies between locations with no regard to the consequence.
“McDonald’s strategy in Florida appears to be: deny, ignore, and punish anyone who complains too loudly, and at times, move harassers from one restaurant to another restaurant, where they have access to and can further harass more women.”
Reddick was a McDonald’s employee from 2015 to 2018 at its Sanford location. She was terminated for lodging a complaint against inappropriate touching and sexual comments from a male co-worker. Fairly served at the same location from 2018 and was reportedly harassed by 2 male co-workers, as per the lawsuit.
The lawsuit further adds that the management was informed of sexual harassment in both instances but it refused to take the required action.
95% of McDonald’s U.S Restaurants Are Run By Franchisees
In Michigan, another class action is already active against McDonald’s. The fast-food company says that 95% of its restaurants in the United States are operated by franchisees which is why McDonald’s can’t be blamed for instances of sexual harassment at the restaurants that it doesn’t operate.
A California-based federal appeals court agreed with McDonald’s argument in 2019.