Twenty-Five More McDonald’s Workers File Complaints as Company’s Sexual Harassment Problem Grows
ACLU, TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™ Back EEOC Charges, Suits in 20 Cities Alleging Groping, Indecent Exposure, Retaliation for Speaking Out
Ahead of Shareholder Meeting, Padma Lakshmi to Join Fight for $15 Workers to Protest Company’s Inaction, Demand Face-to-Face with Executives to Build Anti-Harassment Plan
Brazilian Prosecutor Launches Investigation into Sexual, Racial Harassment at McDonald’s
The Fight for $15 and a Union, with support from the American Civil Liberties Union and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™, announced Tuesday the filing of 25 new sexual harassment charges and lawsuits against McDonald’s, as a multi-year effort by cooks and cashiers to press the company to address widespread harassment intensified.
The combination of suits and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges allege a trail of illegal conduct in both corporate and franchise McDonald’s restaurants across 20 cities—including groping, indecent exposure, propositions for sex and lewd comments by supervisors—against workers as young as 16 years old.
Together, the charges reveal repeated efforts by workers to seek assistance from management after experiencing sexual harassment on the job, only to have their complaints brushed off or ignored, or, in some cases, even mocked; many felt the brunt of retaliation—from reduced hours to unwarranted discipline to termination.
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TIME’S UP, MCDONALD’S
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™—housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund LLC—connects those who experience workplace sexual harassment with legal and communications assistance and provides support for legal representation in select cases, including the charges announced Tuesday.
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50 CHARGES AGAINST MCDONALD’S
The charges announced Tuesday represent the third round of complaints McDonald’s workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union have filed against the company in the last three years, with more than 50 charges and suits filed in total. Despite the spotlight on the issue in high-profile industries like Hollywood and the media, nothing has changed for the burger giant’s frontline workers.
“McDonald’s workers across the country are courageously coming forward to share their stories in an effort to make McDonald’s a safer workplace both for themselves and other workers,” says Attorney Deirdre Aaron at Outten & Golden LLP, who is also representing affected workers with support through TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. “It’s time for McDonald’s to listen to them and take their claims seriously.”
The charges and suits are just one way the workers have tried to get the company to address sexual harassment in recent months. In September 2018, McDonald’s workers across the country went on strike—the first walkout in more than 100 years to protest sexual harassment. In January, three McDonald’s workers told their stories to Gretchen Carlson as part of the Lifetime documentary Breaking the Silence. And in March, McDonald’s workers confronted the company’s global chief communications officer during a speech in Washington, D.C., demanding executives meet with workers to discuss sexual harassment.
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